No pressure for Pak in semis: Hafeez

Published: Sunday, March 27, 2011, 13:27 [IST]
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Mohali, Mar 26: Ahead of the highly-anticipated World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan, Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has expressed confidence in his team, asserting that the players are under no pressure at all.

No pressure for Pak in semis: Hafeez

The semi-final would be held at Mohali on March 30.

Addressing the media in Chandigarh, Hafeez said that the Pakistan team was all set to take on India, armed with a battery of explosive hitters and lethal bowlers.

"We have undergone rigorous training sessions to prepare well for the World Cup tournament since the past six months. We have really worked hard to improve our cricket. Obviously, the pressure factor would be there in the World Cup, but since we are happy with our preparations, I do not think there is any extra pressure on the team just because we are up against India," Hafeez said.

"We have handled the pressure well by focusing only on the matches that we are playing, and win on that given day," he added.

Hafeez further conceded that taming an unleashed Sachin Tendulkar would be a tough challenge for Pakistan.

"The brilliance of Sachin Tendulkar cannot be expressed in words. He is a great player. Obviously, on any day, it is natural to make strategies against any opponent that you feel is strong. We will follow whatever strategies the captain and the coach of the Pakistan team tell us to follow," the all-rounder said.

"However, as a player, I think Sachin is great and no team can stop him from reaching the heights of success. Every player has certain cricket skills, and Sachin has all the skills, which make him such a tough opponent. We all should admire his skills," he added.

Meanwhile, terming the decision of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to remove Pakistan as one of the hosts of the tournament due to security concerns as disappointing, Hafeez said that the team had vowed to give their best in reviving cricket in the strife-ridden nation.

"Obviously, the fact that the World Cup is not happening in Pakistan is a major disappointment for all the cricket fans over there. It was a setback even for us as a team. However, we are doing our bit by giving our best in the tournament and performing well by playing good cricket," Hafeez said.

"By playing well in the World Cup, we are representing the strength of Pakistan and the resilient spirit of our country and we want to show the world that we are strong as a nation and that cricket will be revived in Pakistan," he added.

Oneindia Cricket

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