Positive cricket key to Fakhar Zaman’s success: Aamir Sohail
Fakhar Zaman has been quite the find for Pakistan. (Getty Images)

Former Pakistan batsman Aamir Sohail has appreciated opener Fakhar Zaman for his positive batting. Zaman rose to prominence with a match-winning century against India in the final of last year’s Champions Trophy in which Pakistan steam-rolled their arch rivals by 180 runs.

Sohail, who himself used to open the batting for Pakistan in the 1990s, pointed out that Zaman’s attacking approach is an asset for the team. Pakistan are set to participate in the Asia Cup that begins in the UAE on Saturday.

“The reason behind Zaman’s success has to be his positive approach. No matter what the situation, he goes out and bats positively,” Sohail said.

Zaman did not stop there. Earlier this year in July, as Pakistan whitewashed Zimbabwe 5-0, the left-hander became the first Pakistan batsman to record a double century in ODIs. He went past Saeed Anwar’s record of 194 which he had scored against India in the Pepsi Independence Cup in 1997. He ended the series with an astonishing 515 runs at a rollicking average of 257.50 with two centuries and half-centuries each.

“He (Zaman) doesn’t allow any bulls to fight in his head and knows that going out and playing positive cricket is what’s best for him. That has been the key to his success,” Sohail, who played 47 Tests and 156 ODI for Pakistan, said.

Sohail reckons winning the Champions Trophy last year has gone a long way in helping Pakistan cricket, and that has helped the players realise their potential. Despite getting blanked at the hands of New Zealand earlier this year, the former opener feels Pakistan’s growth as a force in ODI cricket is on an upward curve.

“I think winning ICC Champions Trophy changed the outlook of the Pakistan Cricket team. It gave them a lot of confidence and at the same time, they are assured of their places now,” Sohail said. “The team is responding well to the captain, coach and sports staff. The boys are playing positive cricket and you get to see the difference.

As focus now shifts to the Asia Cup, Sohail believes that Pakistan have the edge over the other teams. ”Pakistan will definitely have an upper hand on all teams as they have played in the UAE more than any other team,” said Sohail.

Pakistan will open their campaign against Hong Kong in Dubai on September 16 before facing arch-rivals India two days later.