Mohammad Hafeez says he relishes the intensity of an India-Pakistan encounter © AFP
Dhaka: Mar 15, 2014
Pakistan will start their campaign at ICC World T20 2014 with a high-octane clash against India but skipper Mohammad Hafeez believes the “pressure” of locking horns against the arch-rivals in the opening match will act as a “motivation” for the side.
“I always say that an India-Pakistan match is full of pressure but you enjoy playing it,” Hafeez said.
“As a captain I am happy that it’s the first match and if you do well in such an opening match you obviously feel much easier in upcoming matches as far as pressure is concerned.
Obviously you can’t take any team with lighter hands but in an India match, we would want to start off doing well.
“The element of pressure is actually a factor of motivation. It is always an extreme pleasure with the crowd response and we always enjoy playing against India and for the upcoming match we are very excited,” he added.
The 2009 champions, Pakistan had finished runners-up in the inaugural edition in 2007. Besides, they reached the semi-finals twice.
In the recently-concluded Asia Cup 2014 too, Pakistan reached the finals and Hafeez said his team has the momentum ahead of the World T20 event.
“Momentum in any tournament plays an important role and with sort of cricket we have played in Asia Cup, we have got that momentum,” Hafeez said.
India missed the services of regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the recently-concluded Asia Cup 2014 and he will be back at the helm in the World T20 but Hafeez said it doesn’t make much difference.
“We beat India in the Asia Cup and with the exception of any individual it doesn’t make any difference,” Hafeez said.
“But, yes, I understand that there are some key players that can make a difference and Dhoni’s leadership has been good in last four, five years.
“But for us it’s not a talking point that he wasn’t there and now he is here to lead India. What we need is to play well whoever is our opponent and that is the most important thing,” concluded Hafeez.
ICC World T20 2014 schedule: Match time table with venue details