T20 World Cup: It's going to be another big game, says Philander ahead of Pak v NZ
Pakistans bowling consultant Vernon Philander has said that Tuesday's match against New Zealand in the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup will be another big game for his team. He added that the talk in the team on Monday was about putting Sunday's ten-wicket win against India behind and focusing on the match against New Zealand in Sharjah.
"We had a meeting earlier. Highlighted the importance of really staying grounded. And last night was a massive win for all boys. Make no mistake about it. But we've also got a tournament obviously at hand and the boys will stay focused. Really today's talk was really about putting last night behind us and focus on what's obviously to come tomorrow. Tomorrow's going to be another big game. And hopefully, the boys will reset and be ready and focused for tomorrow," said Philander in the pre-match press conference on Monday.
Philander was in praise of young left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, whose spell of 3/31 set up the match in Pakistan's favour. Afridi took out Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in the power-play before dismissing Virat Kohli in the back end of the innings.
"It's always a wonderful asset to have left-arm bowlers who can bowl with high pace and swing. I think he's a wonderful talent. If I identify his strength, it would be to swing the ball at a high pace and of course, highlight the lines which he had bowled. He's such a wonderful talent. You have to make sure you encourage him to keep doing what he's doing."
The former South Africa pacer refused to read much into Hasan Ali's performance with the ball on Sunday. Though Ali took out Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja cheaply, he conceded 44 runs in his four overs. "As far as Hasan is concerned, we know what a champion bowler he is. There's always going to be someone on the night that unfortunately cannot travel. But I think he's bowled really well. He's showed some good heart. Maybe just execution here and there that obviously wasn't on par. But as from a general overall bowling performance, I think the boys did pretty well. It was a strong boundary he had to defend as well. Those things are quite tough and difficult at times, but in general and as a whole I think the boys bowled really well."
Philander concluded by saying that his experience of being a part of a high-octane cricket match between India and Pakistan was surreal. "Probably no greater way to start it than with the India/Pakistan game. I think it was probably one of the biggest spectacles the cricket world will ever see. Pakistan and India, such an amazing atmosphere to be part of it. To come out on top, really puts a cherry on"the cake."
"But I think for us as a squad as a whole, the guys have really prepared well. And you could have sensed the calmness amongst the team, amongst the captain here. And it was a great spectacle, like I said, to be part of. And hopefully, we can go from strength to strength and hopefully we can make the playoffs and hopefully into the final later on in the competition - IANS
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