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Hafeez hopes for ideal start

Mohammed Hafeez

Lahore: Pakistan T20 captain Mohammed Hafeez, on Wednesday, said his team could get off to an ideal start if they beat arch-rivals India in their first World T20 match.

“An India-Pakistan match is always a pressure match. As a player and a captain, I am very happy that our first match is against India. If we can win the match, it will boost our confidence by leaps and bounds,” Hafeez said.

The main round of the World T20 kicks off with the India-Pakistan match, on March 21, in Mirpur. Pakistan, who leave for Bangladesh on Thursday, will play two warm-up matches, against New Zealand and South Africa, on March 17 and 19, respectively.

Hafeez said Pakistan will take heart from their one-wicket win against India in the recently-concluded Asia Cup.

“I think we will take a lot of heart from our win against India in the Asia Cup. Since we have played in Bangladesh in the Asia Cup, we wouldn’t need time to adjust to the conditions. The only thing is we have to get into the T20 mindset. We have a week to get to get into the mindset. We all need to move in one direction.”

Hafeez said they are not taking any team lightly. “Lots of teams are playing T20 now and you can’t take any team lightly, you have to be positive in your thinking against all the teams.

“I think two things are very important. One is momentum which you have to carry and the second is luck,” said Hafeez.

Hafeez hopes dashing all-rounder Shahid Afridi will regain fitness and join the team on March 17.

“Afridi is going through rehab. As a captain, I need a fit Afridi. That’s why we have given him time,” said Hafeez of the dashing hitter who hurt his groin during the Asia Cup.