Azhar Mahmood on Pakistan’s bench strength ahead of 2019 World Cup

Azhar Mahmood Speaks About Testing Pakistan’s Bench Strength Ahead of the 2019 World Cup

Azhar Mahmood, 2019 World Cup, Pakistan, Australia
Pakistan bowling coach on Pak-Aus ODI series. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood revealed they’ve tried different combinations while taking the 2019 World Cup into consideration. He has backed his team by saying he’s somewhat pleased with the boys even during a bleak show against Aaron Finch-led Australia.

Mahmood believes the limited opportunities has allowed the Men in Green and team management to test their bench.

The best chance for the youngsters: Azhar Mahmood

Pakistan, Azhar Mahmood, 2019 World Cup
Pakistan is currently ranked at the sixth spot in the ICC ODI rankings. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

While focusing on options, Mahmood maintained it was the major chance for the talented pool of players. He added playing main players would have been tricky in this scenario.

“If we play only our main strength and then someone gets injured, we won’t have any options left. This series was our best chance to test bench strength,” Mahmood told ICC.

Also, Mahmood has lauded the efforts of wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan and Haris Sohail.

Mahmood believes a couple of positive will play a significant role for Pakistan ahead of the quadrennial event.

“We are trying different combinations keeping the World Cup in mind,” Mahmood stated.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has lost the five-match One-day International series 3-0 with two to go. In the third game, visitors restrict hosts at 186 in 44.4 overs. Thus, hosts lost the game by 80 runs.

“Unfortunately, the ball was doing a bit, so we were not good enough,” Mahmood said.

However, Mahmood reiterated that the players are upbeat when relying on the positives.

Azhar Mahmood talks about Pakistan strength:

Azhar Mahmood, 2019 ICC World Cup, Pakistan
Azhar Mahmood is keen to contribute behind the scenes. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Meanwhile, Mahmood has hailed the efforts of young pacer Mohammad Hasnain apart from Usman Shinwari and Junaid Khan.

“He has bowled really well. And [so has] Junaid [Khan]. We have got a young find in the form of [Mohammad] Hasnain,” Mahmood added.

The 44-year-old former Pakistan all-rounder believes Pakistan strength lies in their bowling and batting. He added the regular players will strengthen the side after this series paved a way for youngsters to test their potential.

“We know what our main strength is in batting and bowling. The regular guys will return. But we thought this series is a good opportunity to test the capabilities of youngsters,” Mahmood inferred.

Meanwhile, regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman were rested for the ODI assignment.

As of now, senior campaigner Shoaib Malik is leading Pakistan at their second-adopted home in the UAE.

With series done and dusted, Pakistan will be aiming to make a comeback in the fourth ODI. The penultimate day-long fixture will take place in Dubai on Friday (March 29).

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Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at, who follows cricket like food after listening to running commentary on a transistor radio when he was only eight, and penned down the scorecard when he turned 11. Twitter, Instagram: TahirIbnManzoor