Azhar urges nation to be patient

Pakistan ODI captain believes series win against West Indies placed national team in right direction of rebuilding


Afp October 03, 2016
Azhar Ali. PHOTO: REUTERS

SHARJAH: Pakistan ODI captain Azhar Ali said on Monday that his team was heading in the right direction after a one-day series win over the West Indies which will lift their rankings and chances for a direct entry in the World Cup 2019.

Pakistan took an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series with another thumping 59-run win in Sharjah on Sunday. They won the first game by 111 runs at the same venue on Friday.

Another victory on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi would see the Men in Green rise one place to eighth, displacing their opponents (currently eighth) to ninth.

Hosts England and the top seven teams in ODI rankings on the cut-off date of September 30 next year will automatically qualify for the World Cup 2019.

Pakistan win by 59 runs, bag series 2-0 against West Indies

The two remaining teams will join eight Associates to feature in the qualifying round in 2018.

Azhar said the series win put Pakistan in the right direction of rebuilding.

“It takes time to improve things,” he said. “You need patience to lift a team. We started the rebuilding process after the World Cup 2015 and it takes one-and-a-half to two years so we are going towards that.”

Azhar replaced Misbahul Haq, who along with all-rounder Shahid Afridi retired after the World Cup last year.

Pakistan beat West Indies by 111 runs in first ODI

But Pakistan were whitewashed 3-0 in Bangladesh last year in Azhar’s first series as captain and lost 4-1 to England earlier this month. That raised calls for his sacking, but he felt changes halted the team’s progress.

“No matter how many captains you change, if you want to rebuild the team it takes one-and-a-half to two years,” he said. “Our nation doesn't have the patience, they want to win instantly. If you don’t win they get frustrated and want change. As a nation we have to take responsibility. It's easy to look at things in hindsight and call for changes.”

Rasheed hails confident Azam

The 31-year-old said his team was getting the right combination.

“We are getting all-rounders who have brought depth in batting and we are scoring 300 plus,” he said. “We are executing plans in bowling which is good, energy levels are high and with wins you lift your confidence. We have played well in the last five to seven matches.”

Dismissed for a first-ball duck and nine in the two matches against West Indies, Azhar hopes he strikes form sooner than later.

“My series against England was better and I scored runs there,” he said. “I am playing well in the nets so it will take one innings to come in form because my confidence level is high.”

COMMENTS (3)

Pakistan Zindabad | 5 years ago | Reply I am in favor of Azhar Ali just because we don't have other Captain option. Other wise satisfied with the improvement of players and combination of team.
Kickass | 5 years ago | Reply Don't test our patience by dropping catches and poor batting. Have some self respect and sit out.
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