ODI series win against Kiwis has boosted Pak’s confidence ahead of World Cup: Hafeez

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s one-day series victory against New Zealand has boosted its confidence ahead of the ICC World Cup 2011, Pakistani batsman Mohammad Hafeez has said.

The World Cup will be held from February 19 to April 2 in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“We will give the World Cup our best shot. Going into the World Cup on the back of the series win in New Zealand has meant that our confidence is high ahead of the World Cup,” PakPassion.net quoted Hafeez, as saying.

“There’s nothing bigger in one day cricket than the World Cup and it presents me and my team mates with a fantastic opportunity to shine on the world stage. We will do our utmost for our countrymen and will perform to the best of our ability. The conditions should favour us and that is always a help,” he added.

When asked which countries he considered to be Pakistan’s main rivals at the World Cup, Hafeez diplomatically replied: “You cannot write anyone off at the moment. Bangladesh are a good side and there are many other good teams. In Asian conditions anyone can win the Trophy, it’s all about who performs on the day. Such is international cricket at the moment, anyone is capable of beating anyone else at the moment. Gone are the days when you could predict who would win a match before it had started and that margin between the major sides and the so called lesser sides has reduced.”

The early ‘powerplay’ overs could prove to be pivotal in the outcome of the World Cup matches, but Hafeez opposed the concept of opening batsmen setting themselves a fixed target in those overs, saying that he followed a more flexible approach.

“I don’t think one should predict how many runs you are going to score in the powerplay overs at the start of an innings. By doing that you are just adding pressure onto yourself. My approach is to stick to the basics and see how conditions are on the day. Sometimes a score of 200 is enough to win an ODI, and on occasions even 300 plus is not enough,” he maintained.

Pakistan start their World Cup campaign on February 23 with a match against Kenya. Their other opponents in the initial group stage are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. (ANI)

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