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Monday Sep 24 2018

Cricketers like Sarfraz Ahmed aren't born everyday: Ganguly

Sarfraz Ahmed and Sourav Ganguly. Photo: File

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed is facing severe criticism as the green shirts lost to India twice in five days in the Asia Cup in Dubai.

Sarfraz scored a slow 66-ball 44 with only two boundaries as Pakistan faced India on Sunday.

Amid the criticism, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has spoken in support of the Pakistan captain.

Speaking on Geo News programme ‘Pakistan-India Takra’, Ganguly said, “Sarfraz is a courageous player and the way he captained the team during the champions trophy last year was impeccable.”

He is a great captain and cricketers like him are not born everyday, the former Indian cricketer added.

Ganguly further said that he, himself, has served as captain and knows how it impacts them when the team does or does not perform well.

He also advised the Pakistan Cricket Board and former cricketers to support and encourage Sarfraz. “His decisions have played a key role in Pakistan’s recent matches.”

The former Indian batsman also said he was surprised that two to four new players are included in Pakistan’s squad for each series.

Regarding the Indian team, Ganguly said after defeat in the Test series against England, the Asia Cup is crucial for Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni and Shikhar Dhawan’s future.

Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan hit punishing centuries to steer an imperious India to a nine-wicket win over a listless Pakistan in the Asia Cup match in Dubai on Sunday.

Sharma notched a 119-ball 111 not out for his 19th one-day hundred while Dhawan made a 100-ball 114 for his eighth century as the pair put on 210 for the opening stand — second best in all India-Pakistan one-day internationals.

That super effort from the openers saw India overhaul the target with 10.3 overs to spare.

The Super four win is the second for India over their arch-rivals following their easy eighth wicket win in the first round.

Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by three runs in a last ball fionish in Abu Dhabi which meant India sailed into the September 28 final in Dubai.


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