Neither four nor six; this is where Sarfraz will bat in Zimbabwe series

KARACHI  : Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has said that he will bat at number five in the upcoming five-match ODI series against Zimbabwe with the first match starting on July 13 (Friday) in Bulawayo.

A lot has been said about Sarfraz’s batting position with his best form coming when he bats at number four, but despite enjoying a fruitful outing in the T20I Tri-Series — 100 runs in five matches — he has decided to bat at number five in one-day cricket.

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“In T20Is I bat at number four, but in ODIs, I will bat at number five,” he said.

Sarfraz further said that Pakistan is not taking Zimbabwe lightly and will do their best to play good cricket and prepare for the upcoming Asia Cup, which starts from September 15.

“Both the teams are young and our aim is to play good cricket and prepare for the Asia Cup. We will give our best shot to play the best cricket we can. We can’t take Zimbabwe lightly — especially in their own backyard — and we have a lot of matches coming up in this year and the next, so we have to prepare for that,” he said.

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Sarfraz further added that the toss would play a crucial role in deciding the winner, especially because the matches are starting earlier than usual.

“This is the first time we will play a match at 9:15am. We usually play matches at 10:00am but these matches will start early which means that the toss will be conducted at 8:45am. The weather is extremely cold here and winning the toss is extremely important. It will become extremely difficult for us if we lose the toss,” he said.

When asked whether spinner Yasir Shah would be used in the upcoming series, Sarfraz said: “We will give him an opportunity to be part of the team. We need his quality in the middle overs and will definitely give him more chances. He might not play all the matches, but he will certainly be a part of some.”

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When asked whether Pakistan are looking to wrap up the series in the first three matches, given the fact that seven of the top Zimbabwe players won’t be part of the series, Sarfraz said that the visitors cannot afford to take the home team lightly.

“No, we don’t think like that. We will take it one match at a time and we have to play good cricket to beat Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe especially. Our strategy and plans won’t change because of the absentees. Zimbabwe are a really good side and we will not take them lightly,” he said.

Failure to do so will see Men in Green slip behind sixth-placed Australia

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