Pakistan coach says team needs to shift gears ahead of the bigger tests at the ICC World Twenty20 2012
Pakistan was the last team to qualify for the Super Eights stage of the ICC World Twenty20 2012, and for a moment during their game against Bangladesh, when the opposition had gotten off to a flying start, the dressing room looked a bit nervy. And looking grim, and a tad glum, was Dav Whatmore, coach of the team, who expressed happiness at having qualified for the Super Eights, but said that his team now needs to shift gears.
“We are absolutely happy to have qualified (to the Super Eights) but we need to have more petrol in the tank, because now we have to face decent opposition,” said Whatmore.
Pakistan was the champion in 2009 and made it to the final and semi-final in 2007 and 2010 respectively. The expectations, therefore, are high. “The pressure for me of course is the history of Pakistan’s team in T20 tournaments. Their performance in World T20s has been really good and we need to maintain that,” said Whatmore.
Pakistan’s strength in all major competitions has been its incredible raw talent and the blend of youth and experience. Whatmore is relying on it on this occasion too.
“One thing is for sure that they are pretty much playing as a team and that is a very good sign,” said Whatmore. “We have got a team that is a mix of youth and experience. There are a couple of older guys, who are making a re-appearance for the team and they are doing very well, and we have a couple of younger ones who made their debut against Australia. I am sure they will get another opportunity in the course of the Super Eights.”
Playing the big teams now, one after the other, will be a challenge. “That is a challenge but the boys are looking forward to it. We can cover all bases depending on what conditions we get, but yes, on the day, anything can happen," said Whatmore.
Of late, all teams have played in the sub-continent, and many players have also become used to the conditions by taking part in the different domestic T20 leagues.
“All teams have got some big players who have performed very well in the IPL as well, so it won’t be easy,” said Whatmore. “They (South Africa) are a physically a very strong and powerful team, but that is good for us because that gives us a challenge. If we can beat them that means we are pretty good too.”