Faheem Ashraf hopes to be a part of the playing XI during the Asia Cup.
Pakistan began training for the Asia Cup at the ICC Academy in Dubai with their sights set firmly on their second match of the tournament – against India.
Pakistan have a lot going for them ahead of the India clash. They defeated their rivals the last time the two teams met – in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy last year in England. There they thumped favourites India by 180 runs to register one of the most comprehensive wins in a world event.
The Indian team has suffered losses in the ODI and Test series in England with the reputation of many players, apart from Virat Kohli, taking a big hit after heavy defeats. Moreover, Kohli himself will be not be in the UAE to take part in the tournament, with Rohit Sharma leading the side.
All this means Pakistan should hold the upper hand in the Dubai clash, especially since the UAE is like their second home.
But Pakistan all-rounder Faheem Ashraf said India can’t be taken lightly even though they are without their best batsman and main captain.
“Even if Virat Kohli isn’t coming, India are still a world-class team. You can’t take them lightly. We are practising at 100 per cent. Be it bowler, batsman or fielder. If we give our 100 per cent, I am sure we will win that match,” Ashraf said after training on Wednesday.
The main focus for Ashraf, who has become a reliable seam-bowling all-rounder in all three formats, is to get into the playing XI as the men in green might be tempted to have more spin bowling options. However, Ashraf said all he can do is give it his best and not worry about selection.
“My job is to play at my best. Being in the playing XI is the job of the coach. I am sure that if I keep giving the performances, I will be in the playing XI. And obviously, it’s the dream of every player to play against India.”