‘Underdog tag will help us, like it did in 1992, 2009’
Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik feels the underdogs tag would help them do well in the ICC World T20, like it did when they ended up winning the 1992 World Cup and 2009 World T20.
“It’s good that we’re underdogs and that gives you a lot of confidence at the same time. We are here to do well,” Malik said at the open media session here on Sunday.
Drawing parallel with Imran Khan-led team’s World Cup winning moment in Australia, the senior Pakistani cricketer said: “Let’s talk about 1992 World Cup first.
“People were not expecting us to do well and win it but we won that. Same thing happened in 2007 World T20 when we did well before losing to India in the final. In 2009, we were not that big as a team but still we won. The same is the case going into this edition.”
Blaming their group stage exit in the recently-concluded Asia Cup to lack of preparation Malik said, “We could not deliver as per the expectations in the Asia Cup. It’s part of life, we are professionals. Whatever happened has happened. We are here to give our best. It is a new tournament. We will try to help each other out and will try what is best for us.”
With cricket tours stopped since the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, Pakistan cricket had suffered a lot but the beginning of the Pakistan Super League was a positive sign for them, Malik said.
“It is going to take a bit of time to come to a level where rest of the world is. If you look at successful Indian players like Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, you could figure it out that they have improved a lot after they started playing IPL.
“PSL will be the same thing. Yes we are behind at the moment but the fact is we have a lot of youngsters. We are learning. It is a great opportunity for us to do well and bring Pakistan where the rest of the world is.”
Asked about their jinx against India in the ICC tournaments, he said: “It is not that difficult. When I am playing against India I don’t think internally. It is media which has created a lot of hype for this match.
“It is a great match for the youngsters to do well and get a superstar status. But we should just go out there and give your best shot. When you think you don’t focus on the match. Our focus should be on winning whoever the team maybe, that should be the kind of commitment we need in our team,” he said.
Malik said lack of international cricket is affecting the team’s progress. “Our record in recent past in shorter version is that we have not delivered. We are learning. Since we don’t play much international cricket, it is not up to the mark. But we must give credit to the whole nation with the way they are coping up. We need to improve our skills in batting, and need to improve on technique.”