Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s chief selector, believes that the No.6-ranked ODI side ‘will be among the favourites’ to win the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
Pakistan’s opening fixture in the tournament will be on 31 May, against West Indies. Prior to the start of the tournament, they will tour England for a five-match ODI series and one-off T20I.
The side’s most recent limited-overs assignment came in the UAE against Australia, in which they succumbed to a 5-0 defeat. With a number of regular fixtures in the side given a rest, ODI debuts were handed to a number of players across the series: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Saad Ali, Mohammad Abbas and Mohammad Hasnain.
Despite the whitewash, when speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Inzamam indicated at some positive findings from the final two matches of the series.
The fourth ODI saw Abid hit a century on his international bow, while Pakistan fell 20 runs short in the final match, with Usman Shinwari picking up 4-49 and Haris Sohail hitting a 129-ball 130.
“Against Australia, we had rested seven of our key players,” said Inzamam, “and in the last two games we had rested around 10 of our main players but the team still fought hard in those matches and that is a very good sign for me.
“I am confident we will pick a very good team for the World Cup and Pakistan will be among the favourites for the title.
“These players needed rest before the World Cup and we have a hectic schedule in England going into the tournament that is why we rested them and we also wanted to try out our bench strength.”
Pakistan’s next international match will be against England in a T20I at Cardiff on 5 May.
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