Pakistan former cricketer Mohsin Khan believes that beating India would be a great achievement for Pakistan but winning the World Cup 2015 title will be the ultimate feat for the team and the nation.
“I admit that when we play against India, there are emotions attached to the game. But to me the importance is that that the match will be Pakistan’s first in the tournament. Winning the first match against a big team is important as it would enhance the morale of the team in matches to come. Had I been the coach, I would have asked the players to put their cent percent no matter it is India, Australia or South Africa,” Mohsin, Pakistan former chief selector and a coach, told arysports.tv on Friday.
Mohsin added that winless Pakistan should forget the demons of the past and go all out to win the match against India. “What has happened in the past doesn’t matter much and focus should be on present and on future. I think it doesn’t matter much that we haven’t won any of the World Cup match against India in the past. Forgetting the past, the players should put their hundred percent to beat India in order to start their World Cup campaign on winning note,” he added.
To a question, he said he have many reservations regarding the selection of the team. “We now have big totals on board during matches and there should be impactful lower middle order now as well, since matches are now generally fought till the last overs. Every team now has many all-rounders and therefore deep batting-line. But our team doesn’t have that luxury,” he said.
Mohsin said that Pakistan have batsmen, who could perform well but bowling department is suffering, which he thinks might suffer during the tournament. “If you put 400 runs and then concede as much runs than what is the use of big totals?”
“Junaid Khan’s presence during World Cup is doubtful due to injury and Wahab Riaz is also not fit. Mohammad Irfan also has fitness problems. There will be no Umar Gul. We don’t have many options. Team management should have thought about it and must not have been swayed away with hopes of winning few matches in UAE at the expense of our players, who could have played big role in World Cup,” he stressed.
He further said that Pakistan should have also picked a specialist spinner like Zulfiqar Babar or Abdur Rehman after Saeed Ajmal pull out of the tournament.
Mohsin further said that a competitive cricket match is not won by star-studded teams but it is won by the teams, who read conditions well and come with better game-plans. “This is the reason upsets happen in matches and underdogs beat top title contenders.”
“When I was the coach, I used to make game-plan A, B and C with Misbah-ul-Haq. We went with a better game-plan against the then World No 1 England and outwitted them,” he recalled.
“Likewise, I would advise the team management that they read the situation and condition well against every team or at least when they play against big teams. They should make prudent game-plans for every match including match against India. Communicate it well with the players and results would show the difference,” he explained.
“At the end I wish them (Pakistan cricket team) good luck during the World Cup and I hope that they clinch the title,” Mohsin wished.