Bangladesh v Pakistan, World T20 2012, Group D, Pallekele

Hafeez hopes seamers come good

Abhishek Purohit in Pallekele

September 24, 2012

Comments: 57 | Text size: A | A

Dav Whatmore has a word with Mohammad Hafeez, Pallekele, September 24, 2012
Mohammad Hafeez has warned against complacency © AFP
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Players/Officials: Mohammad Hafeez
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Teams: Pakistan

Pakistan have done most things right in their build-up to the World Twenty20. They beat Australia in a hard-fought T20 series in the UAE and came back like the Pakistan of old to defeat India in the first warm-up game. Being Pakistan, they failed to chase 112 with nine batsmen against England in the second practice match but the win against New Zealand in their opening group game has given captain Mohammad Hafeez immense confidence.

Hafeez was pleased that the victory was set up by the inconsistent batting line-up making 177, and he spoke of the side's desire to deliver under pressure ahead of the final group game Bangladesh, one in which Pakistan must avoid heavy defeat to make the Super Eights.

"All the boys are focussed," Hafeez said. "The most important thing as a unit is every player wants to do well for Pakistan and is working hard. Every man is ready to perform under pressure. No one is thinking that under pressure, maine saamne nahin aana (I don't want to come out)."

Pakistan have lost only once in 44 meetings to Bangladesh, but Hafeez said they were not taking their opponents lightly. "We are not thinking as if we have already qualified [for the Super Eights]. We have to play well against Bangladesh, who we know can come hard. On certain days in T20, anybody can win. We are not going to take any one easy."

While the batting came good against New Zealand, it was the usually strong bowling that gave the Pakistan fans some tense moments before the 13-run win. All the three quick bowlers, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir and Yasir Arafat, were expensive, but Hafeez said they hadn't done badly.

"The boys worked hard in conditions which were difficult for them. There was no assistance in the pitch for the fast bowlers but they bowled well. It was the second game on the same track. That is why there was not that much for the seamers with the new ball. Yasir was the third seamer, I was bowling well so we did not use him much but I am sure he will come up with good performances in the tournament."

Pakistan, known for their great fast bowlers, have of late relied more on quality spinners in Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Hafeez himself, who said he was pleased with the bowling options he had. "We have got two of the best bowlers in the world, Afridi and Ajmal. We rely on them as match-winners. Ajmal is always difficult for any batsman to pick with his doosra.

"Afridi is a totally different spinner from Bangladesh's spinners, they rely more on left-arm spin. I am happy the way Afridi came up [against New Zealand], his confidence is growing. We are looking forward to him giving more performances with his bowling and batting.

"My bowling benefits the team always as I look to bowl economically [at one stage, he had figures of 3.3-0-6-0 against New Zealand]. I am not a wicket-taker. I am confident as a captain, as there are three bowlers sitting out, [Mohammad] Sami, [Abdul] Razzaq and [Raza] Hasan. Our bowling is our strength."

Hafeez did say, though, that there was room for the quicks to come up with a better showing than their performance against New Zealand. "We have always relied on our fast bowlers. Since the past couple of years, the spinners have been controlling the performances. That is why there is a bit less pressure on the fast bowlers. But they need to improve. Gul and Tanvir have been match-winners for us. I hope they will execute their skills better in the coming games."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (September 25, 2012, 13:01 GMT)

JUNAID KHAN much better bowler then anyone others in squad is not in the team. Look at Yasir or Sami they are not half as good as Junaid Khan...

Posted by CricketMaan on (September 25, 2012, 12:45 GMT)

Why no Shafiq in this line up? He is better than Nazir at the top!!!

Posted by   on (September 25, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

Wish you good luck team Pakistan. May God Help you in winning the contest

Posted by AmjadZork on (September 25, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

Abdul Razzaq should come instead of Yasir Arafat. It will be our RazzaQ against their RazzaK.

Posted by .virk on (September 25, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

And also plzzz don't consider to Sami for any match.. He is the only bowler in the world..who couldn't learn in 10 yrs (no line & length)..he is the one who can't make impact on win but can make u looser from winning position... Hammad Azam & Junaid Khan were good than Sami & Tanvir .. But beleive me they will go with Tanvir in next match too.. even he will bowl 2 overs with (28 runs) :(

Posted by Faridoon on (September 25, 2012, 12:14 GMT)

In the Razaq v Arafat argument it is surprising to see that even Pakistani fans don't consider fielding as a factor of importance. Arafat's batting and bowling is at par with Razaq I believe, but Arafat's fielding is much much better than Razaq. It's surprising that Razaq has been a cricketer for so long yet is such a poor fielder.

They should stick to the same team. The pacemen need to be given another chance to redeem themselves and gain confidence. No point in bringing Sami and Razaq and then if they fail bring Tanvir and Arafat back. Stop the chop and change and continue with the same team. We won the last game with the same team. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Posted by   on (September 25, 2012, 11:41 GMT)

replace tanvir wth razzaq. the only change tht i want in pak11.

Posted by   on (September 25, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

How many chances we want to give Arfat and Sohail Tanvir. Even Shoib Malik is of no use. Why Abdul Razzaq is out, He is best player in this Pakistani squad but he is not being used properly for last 4 years. Plz bring Abdul Razzaq in the team if you want to win the WC.

Posted by pavel22441 on (September 25, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

Bangladesh should attack, they may fall for few run on that policy but this is only the way to do well against pakistan

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (September 25, 2012, 11:00 GMT)

@Ammar Saeed,U R WRONG MAN! We r Fairly pridictable 4 gd reasns In t20s,tests at d moment.CHECK OUT PAK'S T20 RECRD,ALTHOUGH OUR TEAM HAVE FALEN 4RM 80% TO 60% IN TERMS OF WININING WHICH Z STIL PROBABLY D BEST.EVEN THS DOWMFAL Z JST BCOZ OF TOO MUCH EXPRIMENTATN NT DUE TO LACK OF MATCH WINRS,ALTHOUGH OUR TEAM HAVE NT LIVD UP TO ITS REPUTATN BT REMEMBR ITS PAK VS BD NT PAK VS SA OR AUS.

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