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We are Firm Favourites to Win 2019 World Cup: Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: August 25, 2018, 9:06 AM IST
We are Firm Favourites to Win 2019 World Cup: Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman

File image of Fakhar Zaman (L). (Getty Images)

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The dynamic Pakistani opener Fakhar Zaman firmly believes his team should be considered as the favourites to win the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.

Ever since making his international debut in March 2017, Zaman has established himself as one of Pakistan's batting mainstays in the limited-overs format. The 28-year-old has featured in 18 One-day Internationals (ODIs), scoring 1065 runs at a spectacular average of 76.06, and 22 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), making 646 runs at 30.76.

In July, Zaman smashed an unbeaten 210 against Zimbabwe, becoming the first Pakistani batsman to score a double century in ODIs. In the same tri-series, he became the fastest man to reach 1000 runs. It was his stroke-filled 114 off 106 that helped Pakistan win the 20017 Champions Trophy by thumping their arch-rivals India by 180 runs in the final at the Oval.

Pakistan have been in decent form in the white-ball format, and Zaman ensured that they won't be traveling to England just to make up the numbers, instead they will be looking to win the whole thing. "The current Pakistan team combination is brilliant and the results we have recently produced are good proof of that," he told Sky Sports.

"We will travel to England to win the title and not just to make up the numbers. I do feel that it is right for us to be labelled favourites for the 2019 World Cup as our team will be well equipped for this tournament."

However, the World Cup is still a bit far away and Zaman wants to focus on the upcoming Asia Cup that will be played in the UAE in September.

"At the moment, I am fully focused on doing well in the upcoming Asia Cup," he said. "Of course, the 2019 World Cup is an important tournament, but it's far too early for me to start planning for it as there are other international assignments to take care of before that tournament."

Despite all the success in the limited-overs format, Zaman once again reiterated his desire to feature in the longest format for Pakistan. With Australia and New Zealand set to travel to the UAE this year, Zaman might not have to wait for too long.

"Regardless of which team I play against, the fact is that Test cricket is one format that provides the ultimate test of skills for a player and to perform well in this form of the game is my dream," he added. "When that opportunity does arrive, I will do my best.

"While I could not debut in Tests during the recent tour of Ireland and England, I learnt a lot from that tour and also worked very hard on my batting technique, which I feel will help me in Tests. I do not know what the future holds for me in Test cricket but I can confidently say that I am continuing to prepare well and will be ready if I am given a chance."
First Published: August 25, 2018, 5:24 AM IST
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