Pakistan Captain Sarfraz Ahmed has come out and expressed that the team under him will be focussed on winning the T20I triangular series in Zimbabwe rather than trying to live up to their tag as the no.1 ranked T20I side.
The tour of Zimbabwe is another step in the right direction for the young side under Sarfraz and that's how they want to approach it, with the ambitious goal to try and retain their successful run in the white ball game.
Ahead of the tri-series opener against Zimbabwe, Sarfraz was quoted saying, "Definitely ranking is very important, but we are not thinking about it, When I was announced as a captain, we were at number seven. We were not thinking about going to number one and we went up, up, up. Here we are thinking about playing good and positive cricket and to win the tri-nation series"
"The T20I team is playing good cricket, especially from the last two years. Our combination is very good. We have very good youngsters and senior players. We all are being very good especially in the fielding and batting which is why we are on the right track."
The tri-series also includes Australia, which is likely to present a stiffer challenge for Pakistan but Sarfraz knows Pakistan can't take the hosts lightly even if they are bereft of their experienced players. He said, "If you think about T20 cricket, you cannot underestimate any team, They are a young team and they have a couple of good players. We are not going to take them lightly and we are going to play at our full strength...The Zimbabwe side is very good with some good players. Hamilton Masakadza is a very senior player. Chamu Chibhabha. Elton Chigumbura is back. The first game of the tour is very important. We will try our best to play our best cricket and win the match as well."
In Zimbabwe, the pitches and the conditions can really challenge a visiting side. Sarfraz has toured the African nation twice with Pakistan and knows the inexperience will help.
"I have come here twice in 2013 and 2015, In 2013, the pitches were grassy and Pakistan lost a Test match on that tour as well. In 2015 when we came here, the pitches were different. They were slow and had moisture. But, it is a surprise for me that T20I matches are starting too early(10 am). But, it is not our domain to decide the starting of the match"
"The conditions are very good and the weather is good. Hopefully, people will watch good cricket. Whenever you play outside the country it is not easy. When we arrived here, we knew the conditions were not easy. Especially the early on [conditions]. The toss will be very important,"
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)