Shed defensive mindset, attack: Imran advice to Pak

Published: Thursday, February 27, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad: Former captain Imran Khan said Pakistan would have a better chance of winning its crunch match against India if it shed its current defensive mindset and go all out on the offensive. They have to be aggressive and must go into the match with an attacking mind," Khan, who led Pakistan to its World Cup victory in 1992, said as the two cricket crazy nations eagerly await Saturday's clash in South Africa. Pakistan faces must-win encounters against India and Zimbabwe to qualify for the Super Sixes round and a loss to India would mean certain elimination from the premier tournament.

"It is do or die match for Pakistan," Khan, who is now a Member of Parliament (MP) and heads his Movement for Justice Party, said late on Wednesday. The Pakistan team captained by Waqar Younis has so far put up an uninspired show in the team's last four matches, with losses against Australia and England and victories against minnows Namibia and the Netherlands. Khan said toss would play a crucial role in deciding the outcome of the match. "It is very important for Pakistan to win the toss and bat first.

Pakistan has a formidable bowling attack, which can contain India ... if the batting puts up a decent total Pakistan will go in as favourite." He said Pakistan had all the ingredients of being an attacking team but that "the fear of losing itself" can make you lose the match. "They must get rid of this mindset and play with a positive and aggressive attitude." The two countries have not played against each other since June 2000 after New Delhi banned bilateral cricket ties blaming Islamabad for fomenting unrest in Jammu and Kashmir. Copyright AFP 2001

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