Debasis Sen, Dubai: In a bid to become a fittest cricketing nation the Pakistani cricketers were made to attend a military-style training camp in Abbottabad to get themselves ready for the ensuing Asia Cup tournament. The likes of seniors like Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammed Amir and Shoaib Malik were made to go through the tough regime along with the youngsters like Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul Haq, Shadab Khan, Fahim Ashraf and Asif Ali.
The idea behind is to become a fit cricket nation like India and Australia. Coach Micky Arthur has emphasized on improving the fitness skills of the players leading up to the ICC Cricket World in England next year. The Pakistani cricketers were made to go through a tough fitness regime before arriving here in Dubai.
Pakistan will be banking on Fakhar Zaman in the mouth watering clash against India on September 19. The left-hander’s scintillating 139 against India in the final of Champions Trophy 2017 is still fresh in the memories of Pakistani fans. His performance can prove a crucial factor in the tournament for two-time champions Pakistan.
The left-hander became the first batsman from Pakistan to score a double century in one-day internationals in the series against Zimbabwe. The opener was also part of the record with Imam ul Haq as they made the highest opening partnership of 304 runs.
Shadab Khan is another youngster who has cemented his place in the team due to his consistent performances. The leg-spinner is turning out a complete player as apart from a useful late order batsman he is an excellent fielder. His presence has infused a new enthusiasm in the team.
Fahim is another addition to the Pakistan side who needed a good all-rounder badly.
Pakistan will also bank on the quartet of left arm fast bowlers – Usman Shinwari, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Junaid Khan.
Shinwari, who took three wickets in the game against Hong Kong has threatened the Indians of being blown away. The fast bowler suffered a career threatening injury but cut short his rehab which was supposed to take at least a year.
Pakistan made a comprehensive start to their Asia Cup campaign, blowing away minnows Hong Kong by 8 wickets in their first match at the Dubai International Stadium.