Pakistan’s left-handed opener Imam-ul-Haq has expressed his wish to propel his side to the top spot in team rankings by clean-sweeping New Zealand in the five-match ODI series.
In the pre-series press conference on Wednesday, Imam emphasized the significance of the team’s triumphs over personal rankings before asserting that the left-handed opener was not aiming for individual milestones but wanted his team to top the ODI rankings. “I do not have a plan for a personal record but as you know if we beat New Zealand 5-0 we will top the ODI rankings and I have always thought that it’s a team game,” said Imam.
The opening batter continued by employing an example from his and Babar Azam’s individual rankings to argue that his rating is insignificant if his national team is not on the number one spot. “I am on third in individual batting rankings and Babar is at number one, but our team is not on number one spot, which is not a good thing to me,” Imam maintained.
The left-handed batter further weighed in on his goal by asserting that it would boost the team’s confidence if they head into the upcoming ODI World Cup in India as the top-ranked side. “If we win the series by 5-0, the collective confidence that we will get will be more important than personal records,” he added.
Imam also termed the upcoming PAK vs NZ ODI series as an important stepping stone for the world cup preparation before lamenting the lack of time and matches ahead of the mega event. “It is true that we only have seven matches to prepare for the world cup but since we are professionals so there should be no excuse,” stated Imam. “These five matches are very important for our finalized Playing XI and for our confidence. I think we should be ready for the Asia Cup by the end of this series as there won’t be much time in World Cup after the Asia Cup,” he concluded.
It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan will be eyeing to shrug off the T20I series heartbreak – which was ended in a 2-2 draw after Mark Chapman‘s heroics – before heading into the five-match ODI series against New Zealand, commencing on April 27.