'Happy feeling within the camp' - Hafeez
Mohammad Hafeez has said that Pakistan are looking to carry the momentum of a 2-1 series win into the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka despite the heavy defeat in the third T20 match against Australia in Dubai. After losing the ODI series, Pakistan bounced back to win the first two T20s, but collapsed to their lowest T20 total in the third match while chasing.
"Despite losing the third game, I can confidently say that there is a happy feeling within the camp and we are gearing up for the mega event," Hafeez said. "There is a concern in chasing a target, but I am confident that we will improve and do well in the World Twenty20. We must lift our energy levels while we chase."
Pakistan won the first match by seven wickets, before winning the second in a one-over eliminator to take an unassailable lead in the three match series. But chasing Australia's 168 in the third, Pakistan's top order crumbled against the pace of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. The team eventually folded for 74 with only three batsmen managing double-digit scores, a performance that should serve as a "wake-up call" according to Hafeez, in an otherwise good series for the team.
"The way we approached (the target), it wasn't good and we lost too many wickets earlier giving us no chance to recover. There was no point to be complacent and everyone wanted to win the game but Australia played better cricket than us."
"T20 cricket is all about doing the right thing at the right time and we are doing all what has to be done. We are looking forward to the mega event and you will see the difference in our next games."
Pakistan made only one change in the squad for the final T20 - bringing in Yasir Arafat for Sohail Tanvir, after going unchanged in the first two - to allow maximum practice time to their first-choice players.
"I actually wanted to give more chances to our main players, mainly because we don't have much time left ahead of the event. So I decided to stick with lineup," Hafeez said.