By Wisden India staff in Mirpur
Pakistan coach says the nature of the shortest format means a few defeats are inevitable, but he still has faith in his team’s ability
Following the seven-wicket loss to India in the Super 10 opener, Pakistan can ill afford another slip up, something Moin Khan admitted as he looked ahead to putting it past the Aussies.
“We will make every effort to win,” said Moin, the Pakistan coach. “Whenever a team loses its first match, its chances come down. We’ll have to work hard to come back. This match is very important to us if we have to stay in the tournament. But looking at this format, I don’t think any team will reach the final without losing a single game. It’s a hard format. For any team to put in three or four consistent performances is a hard task.”
In many ways, this a classic contest, and Moin said his team was determined to meet Australia’s fire with fire of their own. “Definitely, we will have to. We are one match down but I still believe in the abilities of my team,” he said. “We have to come back very hard and play aggressive cricket. Otherwise, it’s going to be a difficult match because their attitude is very good. We have to fight it out. If we have a good attitude against Australia, I believe we can win.”
It is no secret that Pakistan’s primary bowling weapon is spin and that Australia's batsmen don’t necessarily enjoy squaring up against the turning ball. “They can be susceptible to spin, but they’ve been playing very good cricket for a very long time,” Moin pointed out. “I still believe in my players. We’re capable of getting them.
“We have a lot of (spinning) options in the team. Unfortunately, we couldn’t bowl Shoaib Malik (against India) because we had options. We have another spinner with us. It depends on the pitch, what type of wicket we get in the next match. Our composition will depend on that.”
Given Amit Mishra’s success against Pakistan, Moin said he wouldn’t be surprised if Australia played James Muirhead, their 20-year-old legspinner. “Definitely they can (field him). But we are prepared,” Moin said. “Mishra no doubt was very good; he got wickets in the Asia Cup and he got wickets here. But we are prepared and ready.”
Reflecting on the loss to India, Moin put the below-par batting performance that only netted Pakistan 130 for 7 down to the pitch, as much as anything else. “The pitch was a little damp today,” he said. “We tried our best and had a plan to play aggressive cricket as well. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do that. I must appreciate the Indian bowlers who put pressure on the batsmen. The pitch played a vital role and the toss was also vital.”