Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz said that his team were prepared for India’s strategy of short-balls for their Super Four clash in Dubai on Sunday. Nawaz’s cameo, which followed Mohammed Rizwan’s half-century, propelled their team to the win with a ball to spare. India had earlier put up a target of 182 in their 20 overs with Virat Kohli scoring 60 runs off 44 balls.
In their first meeting at the Asia Cup, Pakistan were peppered with short balls by the Indian pacers. All 10 of Pakistan’s wickets fell to the pacers and five of them to short balls. Therefore, it was no surprise when India’s perennial rivals came out prepared for yet another barrage.
“In the first match they got wickets from short balls, so we were expecting them to go that route again. We practiced with this thought in mind,” said Nawaz in the post-match presser. “To play in a high-pressure game at this level gives me confidence. Obviously, the expectations will also increase and I will try to continue performing like a proper all-rounder for Pakistan,” he added.
Nawaz was also sent higher up the order by his team management. He later said that there were a couple of reasons for this. “I was told that I would be sent to bat depending upon the right-left combination. I was clear in my goal that when I went to bat, the team needed 10 runs per over. I knew that with a clear mind and an emphasis on the basics, I had to execute this plan,” he said.“We wanted to carry the momentum into the death overs because we knew that with players like Khushdil and Ashif Ali, even if we need 10-12 runs per over, they can easily match that target,” he added.
Nawaz also spoke about the opportunity of playing high level opposition and what it’s doing for their team ahead of the T20 World Cup. In these two games against India, the matches have been evenly poised and the experience being gained by Pakistan against one of the tournament powerhouses in India is something that isn’t going amiss.
“As players, it feels good that these matches against India have been neck-to-neck. As youngsters, playing in such matches with pressure situations is good, especially when executing our skills. This will improve the career of players and their growth,” said Nawaz.
India next play Sri Lanka on Tuesday while Pakistan play Afghanistan on Wednesday. The two best teams from the Super Four will meet for the final on Sunday, September 11.