Karachi: While Hasan Ali was Pakistan’s star of the tournament as they won maiden ICC Champions Trophy triumph under Sarfraz Ahmed, it was Fakhar Zaman, who changed the course of Pakistan’s fortune in the tournament; including a match-winning hundred against arch-rivals India in the final at The Oval.
The opener, who had scored 2 fifties – against Sri Lanka in last group stage and against hosts and pre-tournament favourites England in semifinals, made the most of an early reprieve off Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling and slammed his maiden international hundred against Virat Kohli and Co.
Fakhar revealed that Kohli and Bumrah had a go at him and opener Azhar Ali during their big opening stand.
“There was a lot of chatter when Azhar Ali and I were at the crease. Virat was constantly saying, "Arre, ek wicket nikal jayega toh yeh saare out ho jaayenge. Bas ek ko nikaalo jaldi (If we get one wicket, the rest will collapse)," Fakhar was quoted as saying by First Post.
“Bumrah had me caught behind, but it was off a no ball. So, he was also very vocal. On one occasion, he said, "Thoda saamne bhi run banaa le. Kab tak aise khelega?(Make some runs in front of the wicket. How long are you going to play like this?)," added Fakhar.
However, the Pakistani opener made it clear that the Indian cricket team did not cross the line and the “sledging” was only “cricket-related”.
“But to be honest, the Indian players didn’t cross any line. Actually, that was purely cricket-related and positive sledging, which is fine. Everyone wants to see his team win and they do their best to achieve that,” said Fakhar.
Earlier, Fakhar has said that after he had scored a hundred he saw Kohli applauding while MS Dhoni did not react....