Pakistan’s veteran batsman Shoaib Malik believes his side has a good chance of winning the World Cup. The former Pakistan skipper’s comments came after the Men in Green bounced back from the 3-0 defeat against South Africa in Tests to win the first ODI by five wickets on Saturday.
Batting first, the hosts scored 266 for 2 in the allotted 50 overs. However, Pakistan chased down the total score with five balls and five wickets to spare, thanks to Imam-ul-Haq (86) and then Mohammad Hafeez (71 not out).
“I feel we have a very good chance to win the tournament. But then having a ‘good chance’ doesn’t mean much. How we play each game and how we perform against the rest of the world will define how far we go,” Shoaib Malik told Sky Sports.
We have the ability to win the World Cup hands-down: Shoaib Malik (Credits: Getty)
“Yes, we have the ability to win the World Cup hands-down, but abilities don’t win you anything, performances do. Our capabilities include having top ODI bowlers and batsmen in our line-up and personally I’m looking forward to a memorable World Cup 2019,” added the 36-year old.
England will take on South Africa in the opener on May 30, 2019, at The Oval in London. The tournament will last for 45 days with 48 matches to be played. Pakistan will start their campaign against Windies on May 31. The format for the 2019 edition will see 10 best teams in the world going head-to-head in a round-robin format. The tournament will culminate with the fifth final at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground on July 14.
Pakistan also have a good record in ICC tournaments held in England so far. They made it to the final of the World Cup in 1999 before winning their first and only World T20I till date in 2009. Three years ago, the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side defied all the odds to win the Champions Trophy by beating India in the final.
Pakistan won the Champions Trophy in England in 2017 (Credits: Getty)
Malik, who has already retired from Tests, further said he still has no plans to put a full stop in the limited overs format.
My decision to retire is not necessarily connected to my fitness levels, though that is one of the inputs that I will take into account,” he said.
“The main point is that I want to be valuable to my country till the last game I play. I also need to catch up with my work-life balance and spend time with my family. At this time, I have no plans to change my mind, but as we all know 2020 is also a big year for my favourite format, T20 when we will have another World T20 – so you just never know!,” he added.