مقال

Pakistan´s future looks bright with Hasan, Fakhar and Amir

19 حزيران 2017 14:23

Little was expected of Pakistan as they arrived at the ICC Champions Trophy as the lowest-ranked team in the competition, but Sarfraz Ahmed's side upset the odds to come away with the title.

Pakistan have so often been the nearly men of the Champions Trophy with three previous semi-final exits in eight appearances.

Finally their luck changed in 2017 as a squad of experienced heads and promising youngsters ended their barren run, thrashing fierce rivals India by 180 runs in Sunday's final.

And it was no fluke to see Pakistan triumph after stellar performances from key men throughout their squad, and should they maintain that form there is no reason why further silverware cannot come their way again.

Here, we look at Pakistan's top performers who hold the key to future success:

 

Sarfraz Ahmed

The captain led the way on the field, holding more catches than any other Pakistan player and claiming more dismissals - nine - than every other wicketkeeper.

He may have only batted twice during the tournament - which says a lot of his side's top order - but when he did he made it count with an unbeaten 61 to secure their progress to the semi-finals at Sri Lanka's expense.

At 30, Sarfraz is well set to lead Pakistan for many years to come and his displays in England suggest he is more than capable of inspiring them to success.

 

Hasan Ali

Hasan Ali only made his Pakistan debut in August 2016 and had just 16 one-day international appearances to his name before the tournament.

His display in their opener with India did little to suggest he would become the leading wicket taker, the off-spinner finishing with figures of 1-70 at Edgbaston.

However, something clicked with Hasan and in each of the following four matches he took three wickets, becoming Sarfraz's key man - a role he revelled in during the final as he removed dangerman MS Dhoni before claiming the final two wickets of Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah.

 

Fakhar Zaman

If you thought Hasan was inexperienced then Fakhar Zaman takes it to a whole new level, the opener having only made his ODI debut at the Champions Trophy.

The 27-year-old was left out of the opening match, but took his chance when selected for game two against South Africa and has never looked back.

A steadying influence, Fakhar hit 31 on his debut before back-to-back half-centuries to help Pakistan into the final. And he saved his best for last with a stunning 114 - including 12 fours and three huge maximums - in the showpiece with India.

With such promise so early on his career, Fakhar looks certain to be Pakistan's first-choice opening partner with Azhar Ali for years to come.

 

Mohammad Amir

Mohammad Amir's early career was blighted by his spot-fixing conviction, but the 25-year-old has rebuilt his reputation since returning from his ban - and Sunday's final was the last piece of the jigsaw.

Amir firmly established himself as Pakistan's premier strike bowler with a stunning display at The Oval, removing India's three top scorers Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli in a devastating opening spell.

However, taking wickets was only part of why Amir shone for the champions. 

His control, line and unpredictability meant batsmen struggled to score runs off him, and when they did they were not big runs. 

Only 5.4 per cent of the runs he conceded were boundaries, and 60 per cent of his deliveries were dot balls - a statistic only bettered by South Africa duo Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel.

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