Azhar Ali
'Bounce-back ability makes Pakistan a dangerous side in WC' - Azhar Ali

Pakistan Test batsman Azhar Ali believes that Pakistan team’s ability to bounce back from difficult situations makes it a dangerous side in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup. However, he also admitted that the team’s unpredictability remains an annoying factor.

“It’s annoying for us to keep being unpredictable, but it’s true,” Azhar said on Saturday at the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy tour Super in Bristol. “We know we can bounce back from anything and that makes us dangerous. We have done well in world cups, even though no-one rates us that highly in the build-up. We always produce good performances so hopefully this will be a special one.”

The 30-year-old batsman further added that men in green have more recent experience of English conditions than any other World Cup contender.

“These five ODIs against England will help us as well. I’m looking forward to the summer, hopefully we can lift the cup. Wherever you’re playing, if you have information and experience of playing in the conditions, it will benefit Pakistan a lot,” he said.

Speaking about Amir’s selection dilemma in the World Cup squad, Azhar said he is a World class bowler and If he performs well against England, he might just get in the squad.

“It’s up to the selectors but Amir is definitely a very good bowler, he’s lacked form in a few ODIs and didn’t perform up to his potential, but we all know he’s world-class. It’s up to the management and selectors to decide whether he’s up to it or not. If he performs well against England, he might just get in the squad.”

Azhar believes that the opening pair have been performing well at the top order, “I think Imam and Fakhar have been doing well up front. I’m sure they’ll go for the same combination at the top of the order. Hafeez wants to open but he has been doing very well in the middle-order. That’s the way it is right now but I’m sure the management are weighing up the combination right now.”

The right-handed batsman also praised the head coach Mickey Arthur who has led Pakistan to some special achievements.

“Mickey has done really well with the team,” he said. “He has earned a lot of respect, so hopefully he can help us lift the World Cup, which is very important for all of us. He was with us when we won the Champions Trophy, when we won the No. 1 spot at Test level and became the No. 1 side in T20. He’s done a lot and he’ll be looking forward to cross another hurdle.”