No pressure on Pak team ahead of semi-final clash against India: AfridiMarch 29th, 2011 - 5:45 pm ICT by ANI
Mohali, Mar 29 (ANI): Pakistan’s limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi today said his team is not under any pressure for Wednesday’s semi-final clash against India, as they were not the favourites to win the 2011 World Cup.
Afridi said the team will be enjoying the game against India and will give their best, as they aren’t under any pressure.
“We are enjoying our cricket because we are not the most favourite team for this competition. I think India is the most favourite team in this competition. I think we will play above our expectations in this competition. So we are very confident, we are enjoying our cricket,” he said.
Afridi, who is also the leading wicket taker in this edition of the World Cup with 21 scalps, said fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is a doubtful starter for the team’s high intensity semi final clash, and added that a final call on his being included in the playing eleven would be taken by this evening.
“He (Shoaib Akhtar) is not hundred percent, but I think he is trying his level best. We will decide this evening,” Afridi told reporters here.
The Pakistani skipper also accused the Indian media of conducting a negative campaign against his team before Wednesday’s semi-final clash.
He said his remark on not allowing batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar to score runs in the semifinal was blown out of proportions.
“I have not spoken anything like what Indian media has been spreading around. I have been noticing Indian media has been making small issues unnecessarily big. I have not said anything negative against Sachin Tendulkar; no doubt he is a great player,” said Afridi.
“If someone asks me a question regarding his century, obviously as a captain I wouldn’t say I will allow him make hundred easily. I would like India media to give positive response to us, a lot of tension between India and Pakistan can be credited to the media,” he added.
Afridi said playing against India was a ‘great challenge’, adding that they would play a game of good cricket with every player from the team giving his best effort irrespective of the outcome.
“It is big in itself that we are playing in India; it has always been our wish that we play in India. Indian cricket fans want us to play against India, Pakistan cricket fans want us playing against India,” said Afridi.
“Cricket has always made the bond between India and Pakistan stronger, hopefully the bond is strengthened even further in the future. No matter what the result is, hopefully a game of good cricket is played so that the spectators enjoy the match,” he added. (ANI)
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Tags: afridi, clash, cricket, doubtful starter, favourite team, final call, high intensity, india and pakistan, india media, maestro, mohali, negative campaign, no doubt, pak team, proportions, sachin tendulkar, scalps, skipper, wicket taker, world cup