Win in New Zealand will boost our confidence for World Cup: Afridi

January 18th, 2011 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Jan 18 (IANS) Pakistan’s one-day cricket captain Shahid Afridi feels a victory in the forthcoming six-match ODI series in New Zealand will boost the team’s confidence ahead of the World Cup.Afridi asked his team mates to do well against the Kiwis and more importantly in the World Cup starting Feb 19 in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“It is going to be a crucial series,” Afridi told The News. “At the moment our team needs some big wins because that is going to give our confidence a huge boost. That is why we will be going all out to win this series and win it convincingly.”

“Individual performances can win you a match or two but you can get good results on a consistent basis only if each and every player is doing his job.”

Pakistan, the 1992 champions, flopped miserably in the 2003 and 2007 editions of the World Cup after featuring in the 1999 final.

The team’s preparations for World Cup have been hampered by unconvincing results on the field and morale-shattering controversies off it and most critics believe that they don’t have any chances of winning the title.

But Afridi remains confident that his team can lift the World Cup April 2 in Mumbai.

“I have great faith in my team,” said the 30-year-old, who has scored 6,431 runs and bagged 288 wickets from 306 ODI appearances.

“On our day we can beat the best in the world. What we need is the self-belief.”

To get that much-needed self-belief and confidence,

Under Afridi, Pakistan lost the three-match twenty20 International series 1-2 against New Zealand last month. But the tourists are doing better in the ongoing two Test series under Misbah-ul-Haq as they clinched the opening match by ten wickets earlier this month.

Afridi believes that Pakistan’s emphatic triumph in the final T20 game turned out to be the turning point.

“That win has really lifted the team’s spirits and that is showing in the Test series,” he said.

“It would be great that we go into the one-dayers after winning the Test series because nothing works like victory.”

Afridi is confident that he would raise his own game to inspire his teammates.

“I have to lead from the front. As captain I will have to deliver to set an example for my players,” he said.

The ODI series against the Black Caps kicks-off Jan 22 in Wellington.

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