The Telegraph
Friday , March 21 , 2014
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Be fearless against India: Imran

Karachi: All excited about the India-Pakistan clash in the World Twenty20, on Friday, former captains and players here have just one piece of advice for Mohammed Hafeez’s men ahead of the high-pressure match — play fearlessly.

Imran Khan said the key to beating India lies in being brave. “If they go out against India afraid of defeat they will face a lot of problems,” cautioned Imran.

Imran said that Pakistan had a more balanced outfit than India but their approach needed to be right for the big match.

“Any game against India is a pressure game because of the tensions and expectations associated with the match.

“But I would only advise our players to go out and play fearlessly without any fear of defeat. They must play their natural game and not worry about losing,” Imran said.

Former coach and captain Javed Miandad felt that Pakistan needed to exploit India’s limited bowling resources.

“We must try to chase because trying to set a big total given India’s batting depth will only add to the pressure on us,” he said.

He said Indian players always faltered when Pakistan went on the attack.

“Hafeez has to lead from the front with the bat and ball and with Shahid Afridi in good touch these two can play vital roles in helping their team win the match.”

Rashid Latif felt Pakistan’s best chance of beating India was to attack them with pace. “We have a formidable pace attack and Umar Gul and Junaid Khan are experienced performers now.... We must rely on our pace to unsettle them. I don’t think our spinners will play a lead role against India,” he said.

Former captain Younis Khan, who led Pakistan to the World T20 title in 2009 in England, felt that India would be under greater pressure than Pakistan because of their loss to Pakistan in the Asia Cup.

“They have not been doing very well in recent times and in contrast Pakistan have done well against South Africa and Sri Lanka. Plus the way they lost the close match in the Asia Cup gives us the psychological advantage for this match. And we must exploit that.

“But at the end of the day, in any Indo-Pak match it is all about keeping your nerves and coping with the expectations of millions of people following the match all over the world,” Younis said.

Inzamam-ul Haq is furious with the Pakistan team after they suffered a heavy loss against South Africa.

“The players need to work on weak areas in the nets ahead of the match against India so that they don't repeat the mistakes. I just hope the defeat to South Africa does not play up on the minds of our players when they take on India,” Inzamam said.

“The Indian bowlers are struggling to defend even decent totals and our batsmen should not be afraid to attack them from the word go,” he added.