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Pakistan favourites to win World Cup, feels Fakhar Zaman

Pakistan have done well in their last five ODI tournaments – bilateral or multilateral – winning four of them, including the Champions Trophy.

Fakhar Zaman of Pakistan
Fakhar Zaman of Pakistan. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman feels his team should be considered as favourites to win the next year’s World Cup scheduled in England and Wales. The 28-year-old, Pakistan’s only double centurion in the 50-over format, is convinced that their combination and the recent results show that they are good enough to lift the title for the second time after 1992. It was urrent Prime Minister Imran Khan gave the nation its maiden world title that year.

Zaman created some records during Pakistan’s last ODI engagement which was against Zimbabwe in July. Apart from smashing the first double hundred, he also became the quickest to reach 1,000 runs in the ODIs, eclipsing the legendary Sir Vivian Richards. Having made his international debut in 2017, the left-hander has played in 18 ODIs and 22 T20Is so far and yet to make his Test debut. He played a key role in the final of the Champions Trophy against India in England last year by hitting a century.

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“We will travel to England to win the title and not just to make up the numbers. I do feel that it is right for us to be labelled favourites for the 2019 World Cup as our team will be well equipped for this tournament,” Zaman said in an interview with Sky Sports. “The current Pakistan team combination is brilliant and the results we have recently produced are good proof of that.”

Pakistan have done well in their last 5 ODI engagements

Pakistan have done well in their last five ODI tournaments – bilateral or multilateral – winning four of them, including the Champions Trophy. They defeated the West Indies 2-1 in their den; thrashed Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe 5-0 each and lost only to New Zealand in an away series by the same margin. Pakistan are currently ranked fifth in the ICC’s rankings – after England, India, New Zealand and South Africa.

Speaking about opponents that could give the Men in Green a real threat in their pursuit for the second world title, Zaman said each opponent is different but considered arch-rivals India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand as formidable opponents compared to others. The 2019 edition of the World Cup will see all 10 participating teams playing against each other in a round-robin format before the knock-outs. Pakistan will take on India, who they are yet to beat in a World Cup, at Manchester on June 16.

“There isn’t one team that one can mark as a bigger threat to Pakistan in a top-level tournament such as the World Cup. Any of India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand are more than capable of winning on any given day,” he said.

“I feel that each match we play in the World Cup will present a different challenge and whichever team plays well on that day will emerge as the victor.”

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