Pakistan hoping for a big victory against Canada

March 2nd, 2011 - 6:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib Akhtar Colombo, March 2 (IANS) Pakistan will be looking to unleash all its firepower against Canada in their Pool A match at the R. Premadasa Stadium here Thursday.

Pakistan have won both their World Cup matches against Kenya and co-hosts Sri lanka and will stay on the top of pool A if they beat Canada. On the other hand, Canada will go into the match having suffered two crushing defeats at the hands of Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

It seems that Thursday’s game will be a classic mismatch but Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi said they were not taking any team for granted.

Afridi, however, said the team is looking for a big win.

“We will unleash all our firepower at Canada to score a big win because such results will be beneficial and put teams competing against us under a lot of pressure,” he added.

“There is certainly no room for complacency in the World Cup,” said Afridi, who still remembers how Pakistan fell to Ireland and crashed out of 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean.

Afridi said Pakistan have done their homework against Canada. “We have tried to gather some video footage of their initial matches. We should retain our positive frame of mind to prove that we are a side which can achieve consistent results,” he said.

“We can use the match against Canada as good practice before playing New Zealand which is going to be a tough game,” added Afridi. “We don’t want to make many changes in our combination but there could be one or two changes.”

Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman has been ruled out of the match against Canada after straining his left abductor muscle in the game against Sri Lanka. He is likely to make way for off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.

Vice-captain Misbah-ul-Haq has regained full fitness but there are indications that the team management might opt to give him rest and bring in young middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq in the playing eleven.

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar could make way for left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz but coach Younis said a final decision will be taken by the tour selection committee Wednesday night.

“It’s certainly an option (to rest Akhtar),” said Waqar. “But currently his (Akhtar’s) form is good and he might lose it if we give him too big a break between matches,” he said.

Canada, meanwhile, are hoping against hope to make a forceful comeback in the tournament. “We need to comeback somehow, it’s our batting unit that’s failing and that’s the most disappointing part,” said Ashish Bagai, Canada’s captain. “We are repeating our mistakes,” he added.

John Davison, Canada’s experienced batsman, hoped that Pakistan will have a poor day. “I hope that we play well and Pakistan have a poor day like they’ve had in the past,” Davison said.

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