After an enthralling test series between hosts England and Pakistan, the focus now shifts to the shorter forms. With a five-match ODI series to follow, one can expect England to hold the bragging rights ahead of the series. More than their own great run of late, it has been Pakistan’s miserable run in ODI cricket that makes England the favourites. With England fielding their best lineup, things are bound to be incredibly hard for the visitors.
Ahead of the first ODI, Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali seemed pretty optimistic and mentioned that confidence was the key going into the ODI series. Pakistan currently are ranked at a humiliating ninth spot and a decent performance in the upcoming games will only be a boon for them.
“Confidence is very high and belief is there, obviously coming in from the Test series, we had a very good couple of months here. We take that confidence into the one-day internationals as well,” Ali said. “It is a massive boost and a proud moment for Pakistan cricket and the whole nation is very happy about it, as players the team is really happy about it. It’s definitely a good thing for us, our one-day ranking is not great right now but we will take the opportunity the way the team is performing, hopefully, we can convert it into ODIs as well,” he said.
Ali was soon quizzed about his own form in ODI’s, and he mentioned that despite getting starts, he failed to make them count. “When you play international cricket, pressure is always there,” he said. “I’ve had a few starts in recent months but I didn’t convert into big scores so I will focus on that. As a batsman, I need to score some big runs.”
Pakistan’s ODI captain reflected on the team’s recent ascent to the number one test spot and was completely elated. “It’s a big achievement, for the nation and for the players,” Ali said. “People in Pakistan they don’t see their stars playing in front of them, there’s a lack of interest sometimes. The kids really want to see the players they look up to but they don’t see it in front of them, they just watch the TV. For the players also, they have been away all the time, they can’t spend much time with their families, also.”