RAWALPINDI (Dunya News) – Fast bowler Hassan Ali on Tuesday said he was confident that Pakistan would play well capable of winning the upcoming T20 World Cup.
“The players who have been picked up for the T20 World Cup by the selection committee have either performed in the past or in recent times. I’ve the strong belief that if we play with our full potential we can win,” Hassan told media in a virtual press conference.
Hassan recalled Pakistan’s historic win in the final of ICC Champions Trophy’s final in 2017 against arch-rival India saying that Pakistan would be trying to repeat that performance when they took on them in their inaugural T20 World Cup match on October 24.
“The contest between India and Pakistan is always a pressure game. It is also always the much-watched game in the world".
“Even those who have never watched any match in the whole year, they will watch Pakistan and India contest. We’ll be trying to win that match by all means.”
He said usually spinners dominated at the UAE pitches but a fast bowler could also become successful there if he would bowl at a good line and length while using variations.
“We’ve played a lot of cricket in UAE as once it has also remained our home ground. We fully know how to bowl there. As fast bowlers, we’ve set our targets as how to bowl there and help our side to win,” he added.
About the former South Africa fast bowler Vernon Philander, who would be set to join Pakistan team as bowling consultant ahead of World Cup, Hassan said he had been a great performer for his country.
“But it is too early to predict that we’ll get a lot of benefit from him as we don’t have much time for the World Cup now. I also don’t know exactly when will he be joining us and what will be our plans and what sort of discussion will take place with him."
“But, no doubt, he has been a great bowler. We are looking forward [to work with him].
Hassan said he was trying to establish himself as an all rounder and was fully focused on that. “I’m doing as much efforts to improve my batting as I’m doing to further polish my bowling skills".
“I’m trying hard to get better with the bat day-by-day and my efforts are yielding results as I’ve improved a lot on that front.”
He said it was good that former great Abdul Razzaq, who had remained a very good all rounder during his playing days, had recently joined Pakistani team as a stand-in bowling coach adding, “We’ve started working with him as how to do big hitting while maintaining balance at the crease.
His inclusion is a very positive thing for all, especially for the power-hitters. We are trying our best to learn as much as we can from him.”
About former head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis’ decision to retire from their duties, he said it was a bit disappointing for him as the World Cup was approaching and the change should not have happened at this crucial time.
“But I’ll say it is not our domain [to comment on that]. It is the prerogative of the PCB chief or other high authorities in the board to bring the [team] management which they want.
“As players, we are supposed to perform and contribute in the team’s win,” he said.
He said Waqar was his role model and when he saw first the erstwhile great on TV while bowling, he had also decided to become a bowler. “I admire him a lot and it was very nice to work with him. Obviously, I’ll miss him but I know as a professional I’ve to move on. I wish all the best to both [Misbah and Waqar] in their future plans and goals.”
To a question about the second-string New Zealand side, who were currently on Pakistan tour for ODI and T20 series, he said they were a talented bunch of players.
“Obviously, they’ve come here while playing in dry conditions [in Bangladesh], hence they can give us a tough time.”
About the Rawalpindi pitch, he said he knew its behaviour as he had been playing there, especially in Pakistan Super League and other domestic events. “My focus is that wherever I get the opportunity I perform for my team.”