Team-mates and former players react to Fakhar Zaman’s blistering 193
The controversy over the manner in which his innings ended may have overshadowed Fakhar Zaman’s innings on Sunday at The Wanderers. His 193 will easily reside among the greatest ODI innings played by a Pakistan batsman and perhaps even beyond that when taking into account the match situation, the attack he was up against and how he managed the chase. And his team-mates and coaches were in no doubt as to its magnitude.
“One of the best innings that he has played, or I have seen, especially for the clean hitting. He took his time, then built his innings even as wickets fell. The longer the game went, he built these small partnerships but his batting with the tail was outstanding. His hitting at that stage and how he managed that situation, amazing. It was a total one-man show – sadly he couldn’t finish the game and he missed his double. We were really praying for him to get that double. If he had one allrounder batting with him, it could’ve ended 2-3 overs earlier.”
“That was a really special innings. As a fan of cricket, it was a lot of fun watching that. Personally, really happy with the determination and hunger he showed – really enjoyed that. I can see he changed a little bit in how he played. He gave himself a bit more time and really showed maturity in how he went about it. That was special. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right result but it was an innings to watch.”
“I think it was one of the best innings, especially with the match scenario, and the kind of bowling he was up against and the way wickets were falling. Sheer dominance. All alone, he stood there and chasing after such a big target. A smaller target you can understand and you can think about getting there by yourself. But something this big, to try and do it alone, with cricketing shots first and then how he began to clear the boundary. Great fun to watch. He’s been working really hard so to do it in these conditions, it’s great for Pakistan and a real lesson for other batsmen.”
“Amazing innings. It got so close to winning that game. I say it’s one of the best innings I’ve seen live because there wasn’t any partnerships with the top order in there. He did it alone. I feel honoured to have seen it live, for an Asian player and especially a Pakistani one to do it here. One of the good things about that innings was that you think of Fakhar as a batsman who plays 50-60 balls, makes 70-80 off it, a hard-hitting batsman who plays in one gear. But this innings he really did shifted through the gears. Very happy as a batting coach that if you look at his wagon wheel, he had shots everywhere. He’s known for big sixes but his running between the wickets, batting without partners, it was amazing that he fought till the end. That’s what we try to instil in our players, to just keep fighting till the very end.”
“You don’t get to see innings like that very often in international cricket. His power-hitting was great to watch. Unfortunately no batsman could really help him out but still very happy to see an innings like that. And to know that Pakistan has a player who can turn a match around like that.”