Pakistan T20 skipper Hafeez says no favourites in 'pressure filled' Indo-Pak series
Just days ahead of the India tour, Pakistan Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez has declared both rival teams as well-balanced sides, but refrained from stating any clear favourites.
Hafeez urged the Pakistani bowlers to run through the Indian batting in the upcoming limited-overs series, which he termed would be of high pressure.
"Whenever there is a cricket contest between India and Pakistan it is all about pressure as people's expectations on both the sides remain high. In the past, both the teams have given good performances (against each other) and any team can be declared as favourites for the forthcoming series," The Dawn quoted 32-year-old Hafeez, as saying.
The high-profile series is scheduled to start from Dec 22 with first of the two Twenty20 Internationals followed by three One-day Internationals.
"Though we have briefly discussed the strategy for the India tour, an in-depth talk on it will be held when the team management sits down to decide the tasks for different players. Therefore, at this moment I cannot announce the role of any player," Hafeez said.
"Each player's primary target is to give their best against India to help Pakistan earn better result against them. In recent past, we have lost four successive matches to India and we should keep that in mind to stop the winless streak against them," Hafeez added.
Hafeez endorsed One-day International captain Misbah-ul-Haq's view that he would not rely only on one bowler as the entire bowling department, particularly the pace battery, should excel in India.
"It's not fair putting pressure on Saeed by declaring him the lone match-winner before the start of the [India] series. It is a team game and I think against India our pace battery too have to play a significant role," he said.
"Our pace bowlers used to pierce strong Indian batting line-ups to win matches for Pakistan and I want a similar kind of role from them in the upcoming series," Hafeez added.
He further said: "The Indian batsmen are not good against a quality pace attack and our fast bowlers can utilise this handicap of the rivals."