ICC World Twenty20 2012 September 12, 2012

Hafeez banks on Pakistan's T20 experience


Mohammad Hafeez, the Pakistan Twenty20 captain, has said that experienced Twenty20 players, Pakistan's past record in the World Twenty20, and familiarity with Sri Lankan conditions give his side confidence ahead of the upcoming world event.

"Winning the World Cup is always something special for the nation," Hafeez said after arrival in Colombo. "We have done it two times earlier and this time we've got a good chance and have a good team. We have also got good momentum after winning the [Twenty20 international] series against Australia [in the UAE] and that has boosted the morale of the team."

Pakistan were runners-up in the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007, won the 2009 edition in England and were semi-finalists in West Indies in the 2010 event. "We have done a great job in the last three T20 tournaments," Hafeez said. "We have been very successful in the event. We really want to ensure that we should not be complacent.

"We have a good team with some of our players having played a lot of T20 cricket. Shahid Afridi is one those along with Yasir Arafat, Abdul Razzaq, Imran Nazir. We've got good specialists in the team and have a combination that can do really well in these conditions in the mega event."

Afridi is recovering from a finger injury that kept him out of the T20Is against Australia and Hafeez said he was looking forward to the allrounder's return. "He is one of the experienced lads in our side. He is a match-winner for us since the past 15 years. He has ample experience to come out and perform on any day. He is in good shape and feeling confident."

Pakistan are used to Sri Lankan conditions, having visited the country in June for three Tests, five ODIs and two T20Is. Several members of the side's World Twenty20 squad also played in the recent Sri Lanka Premier League.

"We have been allowed by the PCB to play in the SLPL mainly because they wanted us to get used to the conditions. Most of us have played here before and [also] the recent series win [against Australia] gives us the confidence that we can do something special."

Pakistan are in Group D in the World Twenty20 along with New Zealand and Bangladesh and will play their group matches in Pallekele. Hafeez said his attack has the variety to suit the conditions.

"We know that the Pallekele pitch is suited for fast bowlers and we are prepared to execute with the mix we have got. We have good seamers and spinners."

Pakistan will begin their campaign against New Zealand on September 23. Hafeez said they could not afford to take any team lightly. "Any team can make a difference even in one over. Bangladesh and Zimbabwe might not be very good Test sides but in T20s they have performed well. New Zealand are dangerous on any day and so are Bangladesh. I am wary of the pressure of the first round and the boys are ready for the challenge."

Hafeez insisted that fielding always creates a difference in this format. "T20 demands a lot of energy and we have seen the team doing well in fielding winning more matches," Hafeez said. "We are working very hard to bring more energy in the field. The boys have taken most of the catches in the recent series against Australia and we are looking forward to an improved show in the field."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Arslan on September 15, 2012, 23:09 GMT

    ***!!!!!*** The problem is with top 4 bastmen.. Kamran is a great player as an opener. But if hafeez, nasir and nazir will play up then his place is taken. And with afridi out of touch, he will not be able to take the burden alone in the end... he is one of the best new ball players in world cricket.. good luck to hafeez in sorting this issue out! P.S we have some good batsmen and if imran nazir fails, kamran can open or come one down and we can play with an extra bowler... Against SL, SA and IND we should not depend on spinners, in case we face either of them...

  • shoaib on September 15, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    I Think pakistans team should be.... Hafeez, Nazir, Jamshed, Shafiq, K Akmal, U Akmal, Razzaq, Afridi, Ajmal, Gul and either Raza or Tanvir depending on the pitch and conditions.....

    This team will giv pakistan a good balance of possible 8 batsmen and 6 bowlers!! Razzaq and Gul as pacemen Hafeez, afridi, ajmal to squeeeze teams for runs.. Winning combination! Raza and tanvir shud be given equal opputunites in the seriies Who eva performs better shud b held on!!

    No shoaib malik he is useless!! both with bowling and batting!! We only need 2 allrounders.. Afridi and Razzaq! Pakistan need to play Nazir this is cus if he gets going then no game can be lost! Sami, arafat, malik Hav no space in the team to win!!

  • Kamran on September 15, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    I dont think that hard hitters like afridi, Razzaq should go top the order. We need to have stable openers who could not only survive first 8 overs but score runs at atleast 8 per over. And hafeez & nasir can do it. Asad shafiq should play at No. 3, then Kamran Akmal. Umar Akmal at No. 5 and Shoaib Malik at No. 6. Razaq and Afridi at 7 and 8. then Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal and Sohail Tanvir. I have noticed that Herath is bowling quite superbly, so we can go with our left armer Hassan Raza. Based upon the situation, Razzaq can be sent up the order. But playing 1st, it should be the same order.

  • Dummy4 on September 15, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    The Tigers(Bangladesh) are surely hoping to face Pakistan. Not to mention, they have a score to settle. Pakistan would have to withstand the tigers' incursion to survive. Pakistan devoured the cat's lair and the abode in the Asia Cup Finals. They plundered the grail, the tigers were debilitated and pushed to the limits. Pakistan would be on the receiving end of the Tigers' wrath and I can certainly tell you this.... RETRIBUTION WILL BE ENTAILED! Mushfiq the leader of the pack, Shakib the General and Tamim, the leader of the cavalry has set the sail with the rest of the comrades. They will reach the Isle of Lanka and would countermand everything. Their eyes would be on the grail( The Trophy) and they are ready to fight for it. They never relinquish! Not to mention, I root Pakistan just like I root for the Aussies. But the Tigers are the heartbeats of 160 million Bangladeshis.. Anyhow, Good Luck to our adversaries!

  • Dummy4 on September 15, 2012, 1:45 GMT

    well i think the team should be Imran Nazir, Shahid Afridi, Nasir Jamshed Hafeez, Razzak,Asad S, K Akmal, Umer Akmal, Shuaib Malik, GUL, Saeed Ajmal. The team manager can switch the top 3 around if they want as we have been noticing Afridi is not playing good in middle order they should put him as opener along with Imran nazir or Nasir Jamshed. next one down should be Hafeez as he usually get out as the ball is new so better to put him in 4th place, next one down should be Razzak then K Akmal than Asad S then U Akmal then Shuaib Malik, than GUll and saeed.

    OR if i was incharge ill put the team like this

    1. Imran Nazir 2. S Afridi 3. Nasir J 4. M Hafeez 5. K Akmal 6. Asad S 7. U Akmal 8. A Razzak 9. S Malik 10. Gul 11. Saeed Ajmal

    by this line up you have batting power in every position up along with allrounders

    this is the winning lineup for all formats sp T20

  • Kamran on September 14, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    I feel the semi finalists will be: West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka and India. No chance for pak and Aussies this time.

  • Dummy4 on September 14, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    @ pakassasin whats wrong with you? we've got one of the best bowling attacks in the world and you're banking your hopes on ajmal only?? i think the teams pretty balanced and one of the favourites for the cup...

  • Dummy4 on September 14, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Shoaib Malik is totally oult of form So better to give him rest for Some imp matches, and umar akmal as well, but he can be preformed well against any side So according to my Point of view the team Should be on these players, Nasir Jamshed, Imran Nazir then Muhammad Hafeez Asad Shafiq Kamran akmal umar akmal Shahid afridi abdul razzaq, Saeed Ajmal Sohail Tanvir and Umar gull.. Captain can Switch the Bowling Side according to the Conditions. 8 Can Bat Gud and we also have 6 Bowlers

  • Sajjad on September 14, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    we need an aggressive all rounder to replace umar akmal....umar akmal just swinging empty bats....shoaib malik should be dropped from all formats....

  • M on September 14, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    at this point, I would say we should stop crying about selection as it has been done... just hope and concentrate on getting best performances from our available resources. Form and mentality of K Akmal, Afridi, Razzak, Gul & Professor will be the key for us. If these guys can be in best form for 2 weeks then we will do really good.... I didnt mention Ajmal because he is going to perform anyway inshallah.... other players Malik,U Akmal, Nazir, Arfat, Tanveer etc..they are just there to make up 11 members on the day :))) Though I would love to see Nazir playing atleast one knock like he did in ICL final

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