KARACHI   -   Pakistan cricket captain Sarfraz Ahmed says that he would bat further at the batting order in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019. “You will see me batting at the top order in this World Cup, I would try to set a batting position for me and bat on the same position throughout the tournament,” said Sarfraz. The skipper said that his batsmen would need to strike the ball early in order to dominate at the tournament. “We need to strike at the new ball early on, as it is one of the demands of modern cricket especially in England conditions, where scores of 300 will not be safe if we didn’t strike early on,” he said. Talking about the ODI series against England, which would begin just prior the World Cup the skipper said that the series would allow them to ‘adjust’ to the English conditions.

“We have got ample time to practice before World Cup, as we would face England in five ODIs, se we would try to develop a good combination in the ODI series before entering the World Cup,” said Sarfraz.

“The conditions in England will prove favorable to us as we are going a month before the World Cup, Pakistan has played in England consecutively for the past three years, and this time around too we are going early, so it will help us to adjust to the conditions,” he said.

Sarfraz side has got the ‘backup’ of spinners available in likes of leg spinner Shadab Khan and off spinner Imad Wasim, and part time spinners as well including Shoiab Malik and Mohammad Hafeez.

“You must have a third opener in your squad, or someone in the middle order that can open as well, but obviously we would need a third opener as a backup for any situation,” he said Jason Roy eyes World Cup route to Test spot

LONDON (Agencies): There has been plenty of talk surrounding Jason Roy potentially opening for England at the Ashes later this year, but the 28-year-old’s first priority, he said, is the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

England’s worries at the top of the order in Tests is a long-standing problem, and following the retirement of Alastair Cook last year, the issue is even more pressing. Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings, the incumbents in the role, haven’t always convinced, and that has generated plenty of talk that Roy, who is impeccable in limited-overs cricket, might prove up to the task against the red ball.

Roy insisted his main focus is on the World Cup, but believes impressive performances at the premier event might have the bonus effect of getting him an Ashes spot. “My main focus is on the World Cup, looking to play the best cricket possible and hopefully win it,” Roy told The Independent.

Roy has left no stone unturned in preparation for the World Cup. He’s learnt his lessons from the past, when after excursions at the Indian Premier League, he was burnt out for the Champions Trophy 2017.

This time, he has opted not to participate in the IPL 2019. Instead, he is spending time getting used to fatherhood. “This is my first kid so it is more important than any cricket. That was my choice,” he said. “I also didn’t want a repeat of 2017 when I burnt myself out before the Champions Trophy. I went to the IPL [in 2017] which was an awesome opportunity for me but I spent a lot of time on the bench and training, maybe overtraining, and I was definitely burnt out.

“That affected my form heading into the Champions Trophy, and with a child on the way and the World Cup coming I couldn’t risk that this year.”

England’s World Cup campaign begins on May 30 against South Africa at The Oval.