Sarfraz: Pakistan captains are always under pressure

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Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has admitted to feeling the heat after the team’s exit from the 2018 Asia Cup at the super four stage.

Sarfraz says that the pressure he is under is nothing new though and he feels there is no need to panic just yet.

Pakistan suffered successive losses to India in the tournament and were knocked out when Bangladesh beat them by 37 runs in the final super four match.

Sarfraz said: “Look, the pressures of captaincy are always there.

“Pakistani captains, whoever they are, always have pressure. Obviously, when you aren’t performing and the team is losing then there is more pressure.

“The truth is that if I say I haven’t slept for the last six nights nobody will believe me but… this is part of life and it will go on. I will say again we don’t need to press the panic button.”

Sarfraz was left with little choice but to cop to a poor team and personal effort in the Asia Cup.

“Yes, our performance was very poor. Our batting wasn’t good, and we dropped a lot of catches. Our bowling was also patchy, and that’s the reason we are out of the tournament,” accepted Sarfraz who had a poor run in the UAE scoring 68 runs in four innings.

“I know I didn’t perform well. I needed to do much better, which I couldn’t. I take responsibility for the team’s performance.”

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The loss to Bangladesh knocked Pakistan out of the Asia Cup

Safraz believes that the team has the players to be competitive at the World Cup and back his out of sorts stars to come good.

“I still believe we have a lot of talented players in the team. Look at Fakhar Zaman. Though he didn’t have a good tournament, we have to back him. Babar Azam too. Imam has, thankfully, done well, but there’s also Shadab and Hasan. We have to back them and take them along with us. We have to look at our bench too. We have a pool of players, and by the time the World Cup comes, we’ll have a good team.”

Sarfraz hopes to use series against Australia and New Zealand to iron out the kinks in their game ahead of next year’s World Cup.

He added: “The World Cup is quite some time away, we have other engagements before that. Australia are coming, and then there’s New Zealand. So we have to review our performance and see where we are falling short.

“We are losing too many wickets early, and the middle order has had to deal with the new ball, which isn’t easy, and hitting quickly in the end isn’t easy on these pitches. We’ll have to get together and fix these issues.”

Pakistan have a scant eleven days to get into Test mode for their next assignment, the visit of Australia. The first Test gets underway on October 7 in Dubai.