Youngsters played an integral part in helping Pakistan reach the final of the ICC Champions Trophy, despite a crushing defeat in the opener against India, Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said.
The arch-rivals will be meeting in the final on Sunday. “The way youngsters have performed in this tournament is really encouraging for us, they all have played an important role in bringing Pakistan to the final of this tournament,” Sarfraz said at the pre-final press conference.
Sarfraz, however, doesn’t want to think about the defeat in the first match. “Defeat at Edgbaston is a history now, we have moved so far since then and now we are in the final of the tournament. We are aiming to win this tournament,” he said.
For Pakistan the plans are in place but it would only be revealed at the ground. “We are ready with our plans for the match against India. I am not going to reveal my plans, but we have a strategy prepared for the match,” Sarfraz said.
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Sarfraz didn’t reveal if Rumman Raees will be retained or Shadab Khan will play since Mohammad Amir is fit to play. “We will see in the morning that who will sit out, whether we will go out with a spinner or another fast bowler is not yet decided,” he said.
Sarfraz also didn’t want to comment about former captain Aamir Sohail, who discredited their victory on a news channel. “That’s his point of view and I can’t help if he thinks like that,” was all he said.
Coach Mickey Arthur feels that reaching the final isn’t good enough as they can walk that extra step to lay their hands on the coveted trophy. “No, I don’t think we’ve exceeded expectations at all. We came here very, very firmly of the opinion that we wanted to come here and win it and that has been our chat all the time,” he said.
“Credit goes to the players. They have been outstanding, the way they have prepared, the way they dragged themselves off the canvas after the beating at Edgbaston, was amazing. They have been really special in the way that they have played the way we wanted them to. They have done exceptionally well at that. So the reality would be a nice win for us tomorrow. That would be fantastic,” Arthur said.
Once the final is over, the focus will be on preparing a core squad for the 2019 World Cup. “The focus after tomorrow is certainly going to be on the the 2019 World Cup. It’s going to be creating a squad. We are going to create some depth so that we can come here in 2019 and give it a shake.”