BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan Captain Sarfraz Ahmed has said his side has nothing to lose in the Champions Trophy and will use the underdog tag to encourage his teammates to play positive cricket freely throughout the tournament.
In an interview with a cricket website Sarfraz said “We are very hopeful about the India match but our aim is to first perform well in our opening practice match as a team unit.” “Obviously, performing against India is important because the whole nation is expecting us to win against them, so we will give our 100 percent in the ground.
Pakistan will play their Champions Trophy match against India on June 04 at Edgbaston.
He maintained that Pakistan, ranked lowest of the eight teams that qualified, had a chance to win the tournament for the first time.
“Definitely we are very hopeful and really excited about this tournament,” he said. “We are No. 8, so we have nothing to lose. So that’s why I told the players just play your natural game.”
The Champions Trophy hasn’t been a successful hunting ground for Pakistan, who made the semi-finals thrice only to be eliminated twice by New Zealand and once by the West Indies. In the most recent tournament, held in England in 2013, Pakistan remained winless.
Bangladesh, their opponents in today’s warm-up in Birmingham are in contrast, a side on the rise. They are ranked sixth now sitting above both Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Sarfraz was particularly wary of a batting line-up featuring Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim.