Pakistan team need tough competition to rebuild: Sarfaraz Ahmed

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Karachi, Sep 18: Pakistan's national T20 captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has welcomed a three-match T20 series against the West Indies later this month in the UAE, terming it as an ideal platform to work out various combinations.

"It is good we are playing three T20 matches against the world champions. It will give us the opportunity to try out different combinations and give more exposure to the younger players," Sarfaraz said before departing for Dubai.

Pakistan team need tough competition to rebuild: Sarfaraz Ahmed

Pakistan and West Indies play T20s on September 23, 24 and 27 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi before featuring in three ODIs and as many Test matches including a day and night one.

Sarfaraz, who has captained Pakistan in only the lone T20 international against England this month at Manchester, said he was optimistic about building a strong combination for the future.

"We have some exciting young players and they made their presence felt in England and this is a good sign for our future," he said.

The wicketkeeper-batsman made it clear that the coming series would be a tough challenge as the West Indies had twice won the T20 world title.

"They have some really good specialist players for this format and we know what they are capable off. It will not be an easy series for us," he said.

"That is good for us because we need to face tough competition while rebuilding the combination," he added.

He noted that West Indies might have lost star players like Chris Gayle and Andre Russell for the series but they still remained a strong outfit. The keeper-batsman, who has performed well with the bat, said he felt no pressure leading the Pakistan team.

"I have captained the Pakistan under-19 side in the youth World Cup and also lead the Karachi and PIA teams regularly in domestic cricket. Plus the experience of leading the Quetta Gladiators team in the Pakistan Super League in the presence of some big names was a big learning curve for me. My job is to lift the players, assign them a role and push them to meet that target. On a personal level obviously I have always believed in leading by example," he said.

Sarfaraz also praised Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq and said he learnt a lot from him.

"Misbah has been one of our finest captains and I have learnt a lot by watching him do his job. He is a calm, shrewd and composed leader even under pressure who has the respect of his players and I want to follow in his footsteps as well," he added.

PTI

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