Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali firmly believes that the national team can taste World Cup glory later this year.
In fact, Azhar feels that Pakistan have a better chance of winning this year’s World Cup than they had at the Champions Trophy in England in 2017.
Pakistan went on to win the Champions Trophy in incredible fashion, and Azhar pointed out that the men in green are capable of lifting the World Cup for the first time since 1992.
“I actually believe that Pakistan has a better chance to win the World Cup this time around than we did two years ago at the Champions Trophy,” he told Sky Sports. “Back in 2017, nobody gave Pakistan a chance, but this time around people are mentioning Pakistan as potential winners of the World Cup.
“I think Pakistan has a very good chance, providing the team clicks. The combination for Pakistan is very good, but it’s all about clicking and peaking at the right time, as we did in 2017. The World Cup this time around is a long tournament, so you have a bit of time to find your feet and peak.
“Pakistan is strong in all areas, but the key will be getting a solid base from the top-order batsmen and getting runs on the board for the bowlers to work with. Pakistan’s bowlers are always strong, and this time is no different.
“As we saw at the Champions Trophy, you can’t write off Pakistan in any tournament. I’m very hopeful and think they will do well, as I think they have a stronger squad than they had at the 2017 Champions Trophy.”
When asked who he sees as Pakistan’s main threats in the World Cup, which will be held in England and Wales, Azhar selected India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
“I think India, Pakistan, Australia, and South Africa are the main challengers, although I don’t think New Zealand should be written off, as they always tend to perform well at World Cups,” he said. “I think the winner will come from one of these teams. But then this is cricket, and anything is possible, and whoever runs into form and peaks at the right time will come out as champions.”