The 44-year-old was of the opinion that a lack of experience and experimentation led to the team’s downfall against Australia and England
Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has said that 1992 champions will play the final of the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.
The star player, who once held the record for the fastest century, was adamant in a video posted on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) website that Pakistan had a very strong and balanced team that will be a major threat in the mega event.
“I was confident that Pakistan will make it to the semi-final before. But now I am confident that Pakistan will feature in the final of the World Cup,” said Afridi.
The 44-year-old was of the opinion that a lack of experience and experimentation led to the team’s downfall against Australia and England.
“If we talk about strength we have experimented a lot. We rested our senior players in the series against Australia. We gave chances to new players,” he said. “The team combination now, is very good. The best thing is that we always used to worry about our batsmen scoring runs. But now they are in very good form.”
The Khyber Agency-born also believed that the issues in the bowling department will also be a thing of the past with the return of Pakistan’s experienced bowlers.
“We have struggled with our bowling before the World Cup. But I think it was due to a lack of experience. The presence of Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan and Mohammad Amir will bring balance to the team,” he said. “We should now not have any excuses that we didn’t have this or that. We have a well balanced team. I think this will also raise our expectations from them.”
The hard-hitting batsman emphasised the need for Pakistan to start the tournament with a few victories in order to get momentum on their side.
“We won’t be playing all our matches against England or Australia. We will be facing different teams. It is vital for Pakistan to start the tournament on a high. They will have to win the first two games. This would provide momentum to the team,” he said. “The Pakistan players, especially the youngsters are very capable of defeating the best teams in the world. “
He added that a player is always under pressure in international matches. A World Cup is a chance for everyone to make a name for themselves.
“International cricket is itself pressure and it doesn’t matter if it’s a World Cup or a tri-nation series. Pressure is always there. This is how you gauge the true nature of a player. Players need to be mentally strong,” he said. “Playing the World Cup is a big opportunity. It’s a very big chance to make you a hero. The whole world is watching.”