In their previous encounter, India had convincingly beaten Pakistan by seven wickets in Ahmedabad. Hasan Ali expressed the team’s desire to deliver a better performance against the five-time champions, Australia.Following the loss to India, the team came together to reflect on areas that needed improvement for their match against the Australians.
“It was painful (defeat against India). But it is not the end of the world. Our vehicle (team) was moving ahead nicely, but it was stopped against India. But there are many other big stops ahead,” said Ali during the pre-match press meet on Thursday.
“We sat together and had a healthy discussion. We discussed the things that need improvement. Australia is not an easy team. But we are also a big team. We have come to win the World Cup and are trying to play good cricket,” said Ali.
Ali did not deny the fact that Pakistan’s bowling, historically their strong suit, has not fired in this tournament so far.
“Our bowling against India was not up to the mark. India vs Pakistan match is such that it can make or break your career. This is the reality.
“Maybe, if that was a match against some other team you wouldn’t be asking us this. But we are looking forward to it and the team is very confident,” he added.
The 29-year-old said Pakistan team is missing its group of fans during the tournament, as several of the team’s supporters are yet to receive a visa to cross the border.
“Of course, we miss our fans, but that is not in our control whether the fans are here or not. As a professional, we should focus on cricket.
“Our fans have increased since you (Pakistan journalists) have come. You have got visas – we had 40 fans, now we have 43 – 45 – 47 fans,” he said with a wry smile.
Ali would not have been playing in this World Cup had pacer Naseem Shah wasn’t ruled out with an injury.
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While calling himself “wildcard”, Ali said it is not a good thing to put a lot of pressure on pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi.
“I think you guys don’t like my wild card entry. But I feel proud. Shaheen has won us many matches. I know he is not fit right now but very soon he will be there.
“He is a champion and he has given a lot of performances for Pakistan,” he said.
Five Pak players miss nets
Fakhar Zaman, recuperating from a knee niggle, Salman Ali Agha, who is recovering from a bout of fever, pacer Haris Rauf, leg-spinner Usama Mir and middle-order batter Iftikhar Ahmed did not attend nets on Thursday.
Mir was expected to replace leg-spinner Shadab Khan in the playing 11 for the match against Australia on Friday.
(With PTI inputs)