Pakistan on Sunday incredibly toppled India in the Champions Trophy Final. However, Pakistan on its big day produced a number of gems including Shadab Khan, Hassan Ali and none other than the champ, Fakhar Zaman.
Fakhar though took a time to settle on the crease, but after getting comfortable enough, he smashed the Sixers and back to back boundaries that enabled him to score the century. It was lucky no ball initially that made way for the young Fakhar.
After ages, Pakistan has produced as amazing opener batsman as Fakhar Zaman – definitely a great addition to the Pakistani batting line-up that is always vulnerable.
Reportedly, on Saturday evening, Fakhar was feeling quite unwell when Pakistani team arrived at The Oval for the training session. The hot weather and long days of fasting in the UK had caught up with him.
He didn’t practice properly, and after excusing the coach, Fakhar went back to the dressing room to relax and take possible rest before the big match.
The long days of England where the sun rises earlier at 4:45 am and set close late at night at 9:30 pm almost takes away all the energy from a person who is fasting too. London is recently also experiencing a heat wave and much hotter weather than usual that exhausted Fakhar.
The whole night, their physio, Shane treated him well till the morning when he started feeling well and fit for the match. Now Zaman started focusing on how he had to give his best to help the team in lifting up the trophy.
He had to deliver the best to meet everyone’s expectations that are attached to him and his performance. Being nervous before such big games is a natural reaction, and so Fakhar was.
“Everyone in my family was expecting big from me and I was very nervous; I literally felt that it was a big match. The two matches against South Africa and Srilanka were pressureless, but here I felt the pressure and realized what international match is,” Fakhar Zaman stated.
In the fourth over of the game, Fakhar was caught behind, but the third umpire checked whether Bumrah had overstepped or no and yes, luckily, he had, just by few millimeters. Only a few millimeters led Fakhar to achieve the majestic century in his debut tournament.
Zaman then carried the rest of the game like the man on fire making incredible clean shots. Zaman continued playing aggressively with back to back high shots that daunted India clearly as they missed several run-out chances by the direct hit and bowled several wide balls with two no balls.
He tore into the Indian spinners with even greater power and spirit. The Indian spinners were supposed to restrict him, but instead, he made more runs in their overs by scoring 45 off 33 balls against Ashwin and 33 from 23 balls against Jadeja. Azhar Ali provided his strong hand as well on the other hand.
“Azhar Ali is a very regular conventional cricketer; you can plan against the shots he plays. But you cannot plan against a cricketer like Fakhar Zaman because he plays several shots and it becomes much difficult to hold a cricketer when he is playing high-risk shots back to back without any fear. You can only do as a bowler and captain to plan and tackle, but sometimes you have to sit aside and say, the guy is great enough to deal, survive and tackle anything on the day,” Virat Kohli remarked on Fakhar Zaman’s performance.
It was a boundary that brings up for Zaman’s century to which he celebrated and was also applauded by the Indian skipper. Looking back to Fakhar’s background, he came from Navy that he joined in 2007 and was properly trained for 18 months.
There he was noticed by his Navy coach Azam Khan while playing cricket and the coach apprised him that he can play much higher. Azam then wrote the letters to the headquarters to permit Fakhar for playing cricket. From right there, his cricket career started.
Today after ten years, when Fakhar is 27, nobody knew back in 2007, that he would be quitting the navy to start his cricket career. But with Pakistan and it’s cricket, anything is possible because they are most unpredictable and unfathomable things in the world.
They can surprise the opponent by an extraordinarily amazing performance at any moment. For Fakhar Zaman, this tournament and final match would always be a life builder event that brought him into the limelight where everyone wants to be, where he has risen and emerged as a hero.