Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed is hopeful that a change in format will turn the fortunes of his team in the upcoming five-match One-Day International series against Sri Lanka.
Pakistan’s unbeaten run at the UAE since they shifted base there in 2009 following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore, came to an end earlier this week when they lost the two-Test series against the Islanders 2-0.
Batting failures were the prime reasons for the whitewash, as the hosts failed to chase down 135 in the first Test in Abu Dhabi before losing the second game in Dubai by 68 runs while chasing 317.
But Sarfraz is hopeful that his team will continue the momentum that helped it win the Champions Trophy against all the odds in England. Pakistan was the lowest ranked team in the eight-team tournament, but had gone on to defeat the likes of South Africa, England before thrashing India in the final to lift their maiden Champions Trophy.
“This is our first match after the Champions Trophy. Hopefully, we will keep the same momentum and play like what we played in England,” Sarfraz told journalists ahead of the first ODI.
The Pakistan skipper further said his team has left behind the setback in the Test series and is looking to start afresh with some new players joining the team.
“We hope to do well. We have moved forward after forgetting what happened in Tests. We have some new players in the squad and hope they will give good performances,” he said.
He also rued the absence of pace spearhead of Mohammad Amir. The left-arm pacer, who had rocked India’s top-order in the Champions Trophy final, was a part of the Test series but was ruled out midway through the second game due to a shin injury. Sarfraz, however, is convinced that the other pacers will do the job for the team.
“Unfortunately we don’t have Amir, and it’s a big loss. But we have a good bowling attack with Usman Khan, Rumman Raees along with Junaid Khan,” he said.