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We have a better balanced side than India: Pakistan U19 coach

The two teams will lock horns in the U19 World Cup semi-final clash on Tuesday

We have a better balanced side than India: Pakistan U19 coach PHOTO COURTESY: ICC

Pakistan U19 Head Coach Ijaz Ahmed believes that his side is better balanced than arch rivals India as the two side gear up for the much anticipated U19 World Cup semi-final clash in Potchefstroom on Tuesday.

Ijaz also stressed on the importance of adequately dealing with the pressure of the occasion.

“Our semi-final match against India is like a final for our side but I have told my side that they should avoid feeling the pressure of this game,” said Ijaz while talking to Express News. “Our side is better balanced than India. Our bowling has more variety and one of our targets will be to get the Indian openers out early.”

Pakistan captain and wicketkeeper-batsman Rohail Nazir and opener Haider Ali have only mustered 49 and 51 runs, respectively, in three innings of the tournament so far but the Pakistan coach is hopefully the duo will turn things around in the match against India.

“Haider Ali and Rohail Nazir have not been able to perform according to expectations but hopefully they will put a good show in the upcoming match against India,” he said.

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Ijaz was also confident about winning the remaining matches and lifting the elusive trophy. It must be noted that Pakistan were back-to-back champions in 2004 and 2006.

“We are unbeaten in the tournament so far. Hopefully we will win the remaining two matches as well and lift the trophy,” he said.  

Haider Ali provided a flying start to the team against Afghanistan in the quarter-final, 28 off 34 balls with the help of five fours, before his unfortunate run out.

“I am happy with my batting form. I was playing well against Afghanistan before I got run out. But I feel confident that I will deliver against India. This is just another game for us and I don’t feel any additional pressure, I feel, I can do well in the match," said Ali according to a press release issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

“My confidence is high after the Afghanistan innings. I know my importance to the team and I will aim to carry on the batting form and provide the team a good start against India. Former players and experts have admired my batting which makes me happy and motivates me to do well in the upcoming games," he added. 

India are the defending champions and have captured the Under-19 title on four occasions.

The second semi-final features Bangladesh against New Zealand, also in Potchefstroom, on Thursday.