Until a few years ago, Pakistan was the side to beat in ODI cricket. However, following a string of retirements and blunders from their cricket board, the ODI setup of Pakistan currently looks in a sheer mess. The once dominating ODI powerhouse now is ranked 9th and has reached its all time low mark.
Handing the ruins of the ODI team is young and talented batsman Azhar Ali. Ali didn’t begin his captaincy stint on a high, as his side was whitewashed by Bangladesh. Things looked so bleak for Pakistan that they could have even missed out on their 2017 Champions Trophy berth. They eventually made it after a win over Zimbabwe.
Ahead of Pakistan’s tour of England, Ali spoke about his side and said that he expected more improvements. A confident Ali said that Pakistan had the talent to rise again. “We are aware of the latest rankings, which are worrying,” Ali said in a recent interview. “We know we have to beat top teams to rise in the rankings and we are quite determined to do that,” Ali added.
Seeking some confidence before challenging tours of England and Australia, Ali said, “For me, our schedule is challenging.”. “But we know that beating England and Australia will lift our rankings. England will be tough. We have to be at our best and the only way we can improve our rankings is to beat better and higher-ranked teams,” Ali said.
Stating the new selection panel as a source of inspiration, Ali said, “I think a new selection committee and a new coach will help plan things and I am optimistic that the boys will lift their performances which we badly need.”