Azhar Ali aims for Champions Trophy qualification
The Pakistani cricket team is under serious pressure. After being whitewashed by Bangladesh 3-0 in the ODI’s, the Pakistanis are placed at the ninth position in the rankings. With the top 8 sides making it to the Champions Trophy of 2017, Pakistan cannot afford another slip up in ODI’s.
September 30, 2015 is the cut off deadline and the top 8 teams on that day will qualify for the 2017 edition of Champions Trophy. It will be a serious shame for Pakistan if they cannot even qualify. Azhar Ali, the ODI skipper though sounded optimistic about the team’s chances.
Ali said, “Our target is win all the matches of the series and it’s the main target for us,” “We will learn from our mistakes in the past and will try to take fresh start. We have another opportunity tomorrow to improve our game and build a combination, which transforms into a very good team.”
“We will try to give consistent chances to the players but at the same time we have a priority to make sure we won’t miss out form the Champions Trophy too and will also help our future plans. It’s such an occasion as a team and for me that it’s very important to win. You also know the scenario that we have to win every match and with every game points count, every game is important and we will enter with our minds set on victory,” said Azhar.
Ali also spoke about his own contribution in the ODI team. It must be noted that the PCB was heavily criticized for naming Ali as the captain. “Pressure is always there, but I try not to take extra pressure and enjoy the opportunity,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity for me and I will try to leave the pressure aside and focus on the performance of the team, the results will take care of themselves. Whenever you wear Pakistan colour every match is new for you and it’s an opportunity for you, I will try my best to perform.”
The right hander also praised Zimbabwe and said, “I think Zimbabwe, especially their batting, did very well in the T20s,” he said. “Our team is also very good, it has a mix of experience and youth. It’s a good combination and our side is definitely better than them on paper but we got to keep a check on their performance as well. They are very good batting side and played very well in both T20s.
“When we went to Bangladesh we had very few options of allrounders, but if you look at this side we have good allrounders making into the squad, which eventually will help us a lot. Every team plays with four bowlers plus two-three allrounders but we are lacking in this.”
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