Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Hafeez backs experienced squad to come good
Pakistan captain believes his team is in position to maintain its super record at the ICC World T20
12 September 2012 - 09:10pm IST
Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez believes the experience of his squad will stand him in good stead at ICC World Twenty20 2012.
"We have a very good team. Our boys Shahid Afridi, Yasir Arafat, Imran Nazir Abdul Razzaq play cricket all around the world. Some of them are really Twenty20 specialists. We really have a very good combination for these conditions,'' said Hafeez at the pre-event media conference in Colombo on Wednesday.
Pakistan finished runner-up to India at the ICC World Twenty20 2007, later in 2009 it won the tournament and lost in the semi-final of the 2010 edition.
Hafeez puts Pakistan's good form in the tournament to experience of the squad.
"In the last three ICC World Twenty20 tournaments we have been fairly successful. I believe we have more experience playing this format especially at the domestic level. As a captain I feel confident about my side and very much look forward to ICC World Twenty20 2012,'' said Hafeez.
Hafeez is also banking on the varied bowling attack at his command to come good at the tournament.
"We will be playing at Pallekele where the ball does a bit for the seamers. We have got some good bowlers. There is Yasir Arafat, Mohammad Sami and Umar Gul is back in the squad as well. We have a good bowling attack and they can use the conditions well. We have a number of options,'' reckoned Hafeez.
Pakistan has come into ICC World Twenty20 2012 after a 2-1 series win over Australia in the UAE. Hafeez believes the morale of the side is high because it has the momentum. But the only concern for Hafeez is been the hand injury suffered by all-rounder Shahid Afridi during the series.
The Pakistan Twenty20 captain is hopeful that his key all-rounder Afridi will recover in time.
"Shahid Afridi is one of the most experienced players in the side. He has been a key member for the last 15 years. To have him in the side will be great. He has a lot of experience and in T20 cricket he is all the more confident. He is a match-winner," said Hafeez.
Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad will be joining the squad as batting consultant. Hafeez reckoned Miandad’s appointment will do a world of good for his squad.
"He is a legend. His experience will help us in knowing what we should do in different situations. We really welcome him because it will be a big boost for us,'' said Hafeez.
Pakistan is drawn in Group D of the ICC World Twenty20 2012 alongside Bangladesh and New Zealand.
Hafeez is, however, wary of Bangladesh's abilities to spring a surprise.
"We all know the first round of the tournament is a knockout. We know that any team can do well in the T20 format. We are not going to take any team lightly. We have prepared ourselves well for them (Bangladesh). But we are confident that we can win the first round," said Hafeez.
Before the tournament proper gets underway, Hafeez is looking forward to playing India in the warm-up game on 17 September.
"As a player and as a fan we all want to watch India and Pakistan play. That game will help us to play under pressure and that will help us in the tournament. We will have to play hard. It will be a good build-up for us,'' concluded Hafeez.
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