Pakistan’s chief selector and former international batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq has backed his country as one of the favourites to win the upcoming World Cup in England.
The No 6-ranked ODI side are fresh from a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Australia in the United Arab Emirates, with plenty of Pakistan’s regular players being rested during the series. As a result, the likes of Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Saad Ali, Mohammad Abbas and Mohammad Hasnain all made their international debuts with varying degrees of success.
Despite the whitewash, Inzamam pointed at some positive findings from the final two matches of the series when speaking to reporters on Wednesday.
The fourth ODI saw Abid hit a century on his international debut, while Pakistan fell just 20 runs short in the final fixture, with Usman Shinwari picking up 4-49 and Haris Sohail smashing 130 off 129 balls.
CENTURY! No. 2 for Haris Sohail in the ODIs and his second of the series.
Should he be in the 15-men squad for the World Cup? pic.twitter.com/ppFz8p2GUt
— Cricket Junoon (@CricketJunoon8) March 31, 2019
‘Against Australia, we had rested seven of our key players, and in the last two games we had rested around 10 of our main players, but the team still fought hard in those matches and that is a very good sign for me.’ said Inzamam.
‘I am confident we will pick a very good team for the World Cup and Pakistan will be among the favourites for the title.
‘These players needed rest before the World Cup and we have a hectic schedule in England going into the tournament. That is why we rested them and we also wanted to try out our bench strength.’ he concluded.
Prior to the start of the tournament, Pakistan will tour England, beginning with a one-off T20I at Cardiff on 5 May before a five-match ODI series. Pakistan’s opening fixture in the World Cup will be against the West Indies on 31 May.