Mohammad Hafeez has no issues with Pakistan being generally known as “unpredictable”, saying he “loves” the tag that’s so typically utilized to the workforce.
The all-rounder is about to function in a digital Champions Trophy quarter-final against Sri Lanka when the 2 sides meet for the concluding Group B match in Cardiff on Monday.
Whichever staff wins will advance to the semi-finals of an occasion that includes the world’s prime eight one-day worldwide groups, with the losers eradicated from the ‘mini World Cup’.
The cliche you can by no means ensure which Pakistan workforce will flip up is one the present aspect have embraced at this event.
Their marketing campaign began with a miserable 124-run thrashing by arch-rivals and title-holders India, which noticed Pakistan completely outplayed in all features of the sport to the dismay of their followers at a packed Edgbaston.
However simply three days later they went from zeroes to heroes once they returned to the Birmingham floor to beat South Africa, the world’s prime-ranked ODI aspect by 19 runs on Duckworth/Lewis.
As soon as once more there was a lot speak of the “unpredictable Pakistan”.
However Hafeez, a veteran of 187 ODIs, advised reporters in Cardiff on Sunday: “To be trustworthy, I am all the time a fan of that tag, that we’re an unpredictable staff.
“As a staff, we’re all the time very aggressive,” says Hafeez.
“Sure, we had a few of the days which weren’t good, and I feel the primary recreation was a type of the place all of us tried our degree greatest however issues did not work for us,” the 36-yr-previous prime-order batsman and off-spinner added.
“And the subsequent recreation, prefer it was a completely totally different workforce effort.”
“As a workforce, we’re all the time like that, and I really like that tag all the time.” Pakistan’s unrivalled capability to go from the merely terrible to the chic has lengthy been a function of their play.
So far as Hafeez is worried, the group’s status dates again to Pakistan’s exceptional 1992 World Cup marketing campaign.
They have been bowled out for simply seventy four by England in a gaggle match in Adelaide earlier than rain spared Pakistan a defeat that may have stopped them attending to the semi-finals.
Because it was, beneath the inspiring captaincy of legendary all-rounder Imran Khan, who promised his staff would “battle like cornered tigers”, Pakistan made all of it the best way to the ultimate the place, with left-arm quick bowler Wasim Akram in sensible type, they beat England by 22 runs in Melbourne.
It stays the one time Pakistan have gained the World Cup and Hafeez stated that was the place they picked up the “unpredictable” tag.
“In the event you see the historical past of Pakistan cricket from there until now, we’re all the time unpredictable,” he stated.
“We now have the expertise, however nonetheless you by no means know when it comes.
“That is one thing the opposition all the time take into consideration. They by no means take us flippantly.” Hafeez believes the winner takes all nature of Monday’s match will go well with Pakistan.
“The state of affairs in entrance of us could be very clear ─ we’ve to win the sport, the whole lot else is simply irrelevant,” he stated.
This yr has seen Hafeez once more contributing with ball in addition to bat, having remodelled his motion after a interval of suspension for an unlawful supply.
“I used to be lacking that a part of the sport as a result of that was one thing (bowling) that I actually needed to do each time I performed cricket,” he defined.
“It is extra pleasant for myself and in addition it is working for the workforce. That’s all the time nice. “
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