Fast-bowling allrounder Faheem Ashraf has said that following their dominant and ruthless performance on the limited-overs tour to Zimbabwe, Pakistan Cricket has its sight set on winning the Asia Cup 2018. Pakistan won the T20I triangular series that also had Australia in it and then whitewashed Zimbabwe 5-0 to reiterate why they are meant for higher challenges.
They will face India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and the winner of the Asia Cup Qualifier, which will be between Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Singapore or the United Arab Emirates, in the tournament that is scheduled to take place in September but despite the stiff competition, Faheem Ashraf is confident that the Sarfraz Ahmed led team can win the whole thing.
He was quoted telling The Express Tribune as, “We are playing keeping the Asia Cup in mind where we have to play India and other strong teams, After that, we have to play Australia and New Zealand. We are keeping the World Cup in focus as well.”
Ashraf, who took 9 wickets, including his first-ever 5-fer, at an average of 7.44 in the ODI series, feels satisfied having contributed towards the team's success but gives credit to bowling coach Azhar Mahmood for his guidance.
“A lot of credit for my first five-wicket haul in ODIs goes to Azhar Mahmood,” he said. “He has been extremely helpful by giving confidence and making me a better bowler. I try to hit the right areas and bowl stump to stump.”
Faheem mentioned that there is excellent camaraderie between players in the Pakistani dressing room and he thinks that it was that famous Champions Trophy triumph last year that changed everything.
“It’s true that we are a very close team and we back each other all the time, Since the Champions Trophy, we play as one unit and are happy with each other’s performances; which is one of the reasons why we are winning matches in all formats.”