KOLKATA - Drawing comparisons with Pakistan’s triumph at the 1992 World Cup, Shoaib Malik said that the present state of Pakistan cricket was somewhat similar heading into the 2016 World T20.

The 34-year-old also said that the ‘underdogs’ tag attributed to the present side following indifferent performances in the T20 format was not necessarily a bad thing.

Pakistan has been on a dreadful run of form in the shortest format of the game, suffering a 3-0 whitewash at the hands of England in its adopted ‘home’ UAE followed by a 2-1 series loss against New Zealand away. The biggest setback though came at the Asia Cup when they were knocked out from the group stages following defeats against arch-rivals India and Bangladesh.

The losses drew a severe backlash from the Pakistani fans as well as former cricketers like Javed Miandad and Rashid Latif, with skipper Shahid Afridi especially coming in for a lot of stick.

Malik admitted that they have let their fans down with their recent performances but vowed to put things back in order at the earliest.

"Yes, we are a little bit behind if you talk about T20Is and a little bit of ODIs as well. We are working, we need to improve our skills in batting and techniques. Soon we will be back on track," Malik said. Malik expressed hope that Pakistan could spring a surprise similar to the one in 1992 when Imran Khan led them to World Cup glory, defying all expectations.

"Let's talk about 1992 World Cup first. People were not expecting us to do well and win it but we won that. Same thing happened in 2007 World T20 when we did well before losing to India in the final. In 2009, we were not that big as a team but still we won. The same is the case going into this edition," Malik said.

He further stated that low expectations would only help Pakistan’s cause at the World T20. "It's good that we're underdogs and that gives you a lot of confidence at the same time. We are here to do well," Malik said. "This is a great opportunity for us to perform well and bring Pakistan where the rest of the world is. It's a new tournament; we are here to give our best."

Malik also seconded Afridi’s view that the Pakistan team have always been given a warm welcome by the Indian public and asserted that he didn't have any security fears as he was a frequent visitor to the country following his marriage to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.

"Firstly I would like to thank the Indian Government. The security is very good. My wife is from India and I come to India a lot. I have never faced any security issue," Malik said.

"I don't really see any difference between Pakistani people and the Indians. We eat the same food, we speak the same language. I don't really see any difference. I am very happy to be in India. I have always got a lot of love from people and from media. I'm honoured to be in India," he added.