ADELAIDE: Veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi has said that Pakistan are not disheartened by the fact that they have never won against India in the World Cup, The Times of India reported.
“There is always a first time. I know it is a crunch game for both the teams and fans from all over the world are coming to see it. The hotels have been booked months in advance. There is so much hype and the expectations of the fans are enormous. However, we have the confidence and the ability to surprise any team on any given day,” Afridi said.
He explained that the team knows how to handle the pressure and that they would be treating it as just another game.
“However, being the first game in World Cup, both will be desperate to start with a win, so that they can take the momentum and confidence into the remainder of the tournament,” Afridi said before the team took on Bangladesh in a warm-up match in Blacktown, Sydney on Monday.
All Indo-Pak matches are watched with great anticipation and this match will be no less. The team will play the game at Adelaide on Sunday in best sporting spirit the veteran said, “So that billions of viewers enjoy a good game of cricket. Everybody loves to see us play and we will not disappoint them.”
Hoping to play against the neighbour in more games than just in the World Cups, Afridi said “we have not played each other often enough. I hope we get to play against each other even outside the World Cup.”
Pakistan will be without three of their main players this World Cup due to injury and problems with Saeed Ajmal’s bowling action however, Afridi assured that they had the ability to surprise any team, adding that “no team can take Pakistan lightly and we have the confidence that we are the best team and Inshallah we will give it our best.”
As the all-rounder enters his last World Cup tournament, the mercurial sportsman aims to reach 8,000 runs and 400 wickets by the end of the mega event as personal milestones.
With the absence of two main spinners and Ajmal, Afridi is all set to shoulder extra bowling responsibility.