ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Fakhar Zaman’s rise as aggressive opener down to consistent PSL showings

As part of the Lahore Qalandars squad, Fakhar played eight games in the 2017 edition of the PSL where his technique was greatly admired by his skipper Brendon McCullum, who marked him as someone to watch out for. In that sense, Fakhar’s achievement to become the top scoring Pakistan batsman at the Champions Trophy should not really have been a surprise at all.

A relatively unknown commodity outside Pakistan, Fakhar Zaman showed incredible courage and aggression as he took on South Africa’s top-rated bowlers to score 31 runs in his ODI debut. While many remained unconvinced about his suitability for top-level cricket, there was a aggression and energy in his approach to batting that seemed the perfect match for Pakistan Head Coach Mickey Arthur’s drive to embrace the modern-day game.

Pakistan’s triumph in the Champions Trophy is their first major ICC tournament since 2009. This feat has been achieved with the help of some fantastic performances by their younger players and there is a real hope that this victory represents a major turning point for a team which has been struggling to stay viable in the limited-overs format. As players such as Fakhar continue to mature as they are given more chances to represent Pakistan, there is a good chance that the success witnessed at Champions Trophy will be repeated many times over in the coming years.