Pakistan Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi braved the odds and vowed to come hard at hosts Bangladesh in the lone T20 at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today.
While talking in the presser at the big bowl yesterday, Afridi termed his T20 side as a stronger unit compared to the Pakistan ODI team. “At the moment, I am saying yes, the T20 team are better than the ODI side. Tomorrow (today), it will be a good game. I am not saying we will win one-sided. We will come out hard against Bangladesh. T20 is all about opportunities. If you get one, don’t miss it,” said Afridi.
He ruled out any panic in the Pakistan dressing room and instead praised Bangladesh. “The dressing room atmosphere is very positive. No doubt Bangladesh are playing very well at the moment. With our team, obviously if you don’t have three-four seniors and you are going with new talent, new guys with a new captain, it takes time to have a rebuilding process. I am hopeful that in a few months they will do well as a unit,” opined Afridi.
Afridi banked upon their experience in the T20 format. “Myself, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez are all back. It was good to see Hafeez bowling again. We have a very good combination in T20. I am very positive and confident that we will do well. Everyone doesn’t need to give a lot of performance but if 11 players can give enough performances, it will help us win,” hoped Afridi.
Afridi was looking forward to forming a formidable side for the future. “The World T20 is also coming up, so we have to build a unit. Hopefully we can play a similar line-up in the World [T20] and not make last-minute changes. As a captain, I will try to prepare a new captain for the future too,” he said before adding, “This is the not the era of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Inzamam-ul Haq. In six-eight months, the more cricket they will play, the better they will become. You don’t think about the past. If you look at it at the moment, the combination with which Bangladesh are playing, they are doing very well. We have to come hard at them tomorrow (today).”