Fakhar Zaman: “I’m excited about playing ODIs after a long gap. I have been performing well since the PSL and hopefully I can lead Pakistan to victory [against South Africa]”
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman said he is excited about playing ODIs after a long gap.
Zaman’s comments come after he was picked in the ODI squad for the tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe.
His last ODI came in November 2020, but he was in outstanding form in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Zaman was the fourth-highest run-scorer with 189 runs in four matches for the Lahore Qalandars, which includes two half-centuries, at an average of 63 and a strike-rate of 143.18.
During an intra-squad practice match, Zaman smashed 109 runs off 82 balls, which included 10 boundaries and four sixes, to help Shadab XI beat Babar XI while chasing a revised target of 320 runs.
“It felt great [scoring a century]. I was playing a one-day match after a long time against some really good bowlers. I was trying to play for as long as possible. After getting set, I tried to increase the scoring rate,” Zaman was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
“It was a good match in terms of our preparations. This camp is benefitting us a great deal and hopefully I can use the confidence I gain here during [the] South Africa series.
“I’m excited about playing ODIs after a long gap. I have been performing well since the PSL and hopefully I can lead Pakistan to victory [against South Africa].”
Pakistan will play three ODIs and four T20 Internationals against South Africa before heading to Zimbabwe for two Tests and three T20 Internationals.
Pakistan departed for South Africa on March 26 and the tour will commence on April 2 and conclude on April 16. The ODI series will be played first.
The men in green will then head to Zimbabwe on April 17 and play the three-match T20 series from April 21 to 25 in Harare.
Both Tests will take place at the same venue, with the first match starting on April 29 and the second Test getting underway on May 7.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that the national team will travel back to Lahore from Harare on May 12.
Pakistan’s Test Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Saud Shakeel, Agha Salman, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Tabish Khan, Hasan Ali, Shahnawaz Dhani, Nauman Ali, Zahid Mahmood, Sajid Khan.
Pakistan’s ODI Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali.
Pakistan’s T20 Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali, Arshad Iqbal.