Kolkata: He has been out of form since before the Asia Cup. Kept out of the XI due to an ‘injury’ in the Asia Cup. The World Cup also failed at the beginning. Dropped again due to continuous failure. Finally got a chance against Bangladesh. Pakistan’s opener returned to the run after getting a chance at Eden Gardens. Dropping is a blessing in disguise? The Pak opener thinks so. A century was narrowly missed in the run chase against Bangladesh. What is he saying?

However, on behalf of the Pakistan team, Fakhar’s exclusion was mentioned only about a knee injury. Pakistan did not get a chance in five of the first half-dozen matches. Fakhar says, ‘This time in between has helped. After the Asia Cup, I have put more emphasis on preparation. Who doesn’t expect a big run? However, it was not coming at all. Talk to Shafiq on the other side. I told him, I would play after watching the first four overs. After that, whatever the pitch is, I will play shots.’

Fakhar started cautiously but later batted devastatingly. A target of only 205 runs. Pakistan was focused on reaching the target as quickly as possible. Fakhar bats like that. Finally, Fakhar returned to 81 runs off 74 balls. Said, ‘Net run rate was also on our mind. After crossing 100, I wanted to finish the match in 30 overs. After so many failures I had a lot of trouble making the first 30 runs. I was careful. Hopefully, I can score more runs in the next matches.’

Pakistan captain Babar Azam credited the team game. Due to the great performance of the bowling department, Bangladesh were bowled out for just 204 runs. Then the two openers got off to a great start. Babar did not get a run but the team was excited to win.


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