Indian middle-order batsman feels that if the team can execute its plans, it should beat Pakistan
India seemed to have hit the right pitch in its last group game against England, winning by a whopping 90 runs, but the one-sided contest it lost to Australia has got fans worried again. Next up for India – in the Super Eights at the ICC World Twenty20 2012 – is Pakistan; a team India has usually got the better of in ICC World Cups. But this time, things look a bit different and Pakistan is clearly a touch ahead before the start of the match.
The loss to Australia is something the Indian players want to forget in a hurry, especially with the high-pressure clash coming up. “It was a tough game for us. They played really well,” said Manoj Tiwary, India’s reserve batsman. “We really want to forget about the last game and look forward. It is very important to not just forget the Australia game but also look ahead.”
Importantly, India lost its warm-up encounter to Pakistan and that might be playing on the minds of both the teams as well. “I think that we have played good cricket, it’s not that we haven’t,” said Tiwary. “In the warm-up match too, we were the better team, but it was good innings by Kamran Akmal that won the game for them. But I thought we had also batted really well.”
After the Australia loss, the Indians have focussed on taking things a bit easy. Even Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian captain, said at a press conference that the team is not listening to the criticism in the press and only focussing on the job at hand. As part of that, as Tiwary says, “We have been relaxing a bit, playing a bit of soccer, having fun – and also preparing very hard for the Pakistan game.”
The Indian batting has not fired in a big way, but it’s the bowling – despite the super show against England – that remains the focus. “We just need to get together as a unit in the bowling department and I hope, things will fall into place,” said Tiwary. “If we can execute our plans on the field, which we discuss in the meetings, I think we will get desired results.”
At the same time, Tiwary acknowledged, the batting needs to come good too. “We need to fire with batsmen – need a big score up front for the bowlers to have a chance,” said Tiwary. With a Net Run Rate of -2.506 India is currently on the bottom of the table in Group 2, and have to win their next two games by a handsome margin to qualify for the semi-final. “We have to win the next two matches to qualify. So everyone is looking forward to it. We have good confidence in each other and also in team’s plan."
Against Pakistan then, Tiwary concludes, “We just need to start well and back ourselves in all departments – batting, bowling and fielding.”