ISLAMABAD - Former cricketer and Pakistan team batting consultant Zaheer Abbas has claimed that the team is good enough to play the World Twenty20 final despite being fully aware of the fact that it is included in the tough pool.
Talking to The Nation on Friday just before leaving for Bangladesh, Zaheer said: “If players remain injury free, as we had to suffer a great deal in the recently-concluded Asia Cup due to untimely injuries to some of our key players, I am quite confident that Pakistani team is very balanced and there are some certain individuals, who are more than capable of winning matches at their own.”
Zaheer added: “There is a tag on Pakistan team when it comes to chasing targets but now for sure. Our players chased down 327-run target against Bangladesh, 246 against India. We have also managed to remove that inconsistent run-chaser tag and will try to further enhance our reputation of chasing down more and more targets.
“I have spent time with players in the nets during the Asia Cup and I am more than satisfied with their positive response but there is still room for improvement and they have to work hard on removing their minor flaws. I am more than available to all the players and things will improve with each passing day and I am dead sure our boys will give more than 100 percent,” the former legend stated.
Speaking about other teams in Pakistan pool, Zaheer said: “It is arguably one of the toughest pools. We have to face the likes of arch-rivals India in the very first match of the event and then other heavyweights of the cricketing world. Indian match is always a big pressure game but we managed to defeat India in the Asia Cup so morale of boys is sky high now and I am quite confident that Pakistan will rewrite history. Though we never defeated India in World Cup matches either ODIs or T20Is yet records are meant to break and this time, we are better prepared and the momentum has swung in Pakistan's favour.”
Zaheer asserted that batsmen had managed to play full quota of overs in Asia Cup, which is a significant improvement. “I have told them to ensure top order batsmen must stay at the crease for at least 35 overs, as it is their job to deliver and not left it on the shoulders of tail-enders. We will enter the T20 World Cup with different approach. I must consider Pakistan lucky that we have to face India in the first match which is like blessing in disguise. This crunch match will help players adjust the conditions much earlier than it normally takes, as no one can even think about taking that match easy.” Speaking about the final against Sri Lanka, Zaheer stated: “It is past now and we are now fully focusing on World Twenty20. If the players play according to their abilities, we will return as champions.”