Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq believes his team can turn things around and reach the knockouts of the ongoing ODI World Cup despite losing two consecutive matches.
“We have played four matches and we are 2-2. We are confident. We will accept that we did not play well in the last two matches. We will have to perform up to the mark,” Imam said in a press conference, before the match against Afghanistan at the M. A. Chidambaram stadium in Chennai on Monday.
“You can talk as much as you want. But it matters how you play on the day. We have talked about it. You will see a new team tomorrow in Chennai.” he added.
Pakistan’s top order – barring Mohammad Rizwan, who has amassed 294 runs in the tournament– has faltered on multiple occasions in the tournament. But the most glaring issue would lie with its captain, Babar Azam.
The 29-year-old has managed to score just 81 runs in four matches.
Afghanistan, which relies heavily on its spin bowlers, will also hope its pace unit will make early inroads against an unstable Pakistan batting.
Imam said the fact that his side could overcome whatever the Hashmatullah Shahidi-led side can throw towards them.
“Of course, there are good spinners in Afghanistan who can bowl well in the middle overs. But as I mentioned, we had beaten them in Hambantota 3-0. Even there, the conditions were very spin-friendly. So, we will back that and our ability,”
“In the end, you have to play the ball. You don’t have to play the bowler. So, it’s just that you have to back your ability.” he said.
After Afghanistan, Pakistan will take on South Africa in four days at the same venue. A slip-up here would only diminish the chances of qualification for Imam’s side.
“Yes of course when you have two back-to-back defeats your morale is down, but that is life and that is cricket. Ups and downs are a part of life and cricket,” Imam said.
“So now, we just talk about tomorrow’s match, I hope we win it so that when we go from here, our points will be 4-2 (four wins and two losses).”
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