'Anybody can win in T20'

Calcutta/Pallekele: Pakistan would look to win by a huge margin to ensure their place in the Super Eights when they take on minnows Bangladesh on Tuesday. The two teams have faced each other in this format five times and Pakistan have won five times.

If there's help for the quick bowlers, which is what locals are expecting, Umar Gul will lead the way, while Sohail Tanvir is keen to hit his straps. "We have always relied on our fast bowlers," said Mohammed Hafeez, Pakistan's captain to the ICC website.

"Since the past couple of years, the spinners have been controlling the performances. Ajmal and Afridi have been excellent. My bowling benefits the team always as I look to bowl economically. I am not a wicket-taker.

"That is why there is a bit less pressure on the fast bowlers. But they need to improve. Umar Gul and Tanvir have been match-winners for us. I hope they will execute their skills better in the coming games."

Hafeez was the epitome of understatement when he spoke of his spinners. In the past year, Saeed Ajmal has tormented a variety of teams in different conditions, and in limited-overs cricket, there are few bowlers more difficult to target than Shahid Afridi. "We have different spinners in our side," said Hafeez.

"Afridi is a totally different spinner from Bangladesh's spinners. They rely more on left-arm spin. Ajmal is always difficult for any batsman to pick with his doosra. We rely on them as match-winners.

"I am happy the way Afridi came up against New Zealand, his confidence is growing. We are looking forward to him giving more performances with his bowling and batting."

Hafeez also insisted that there was no chance that his team would be taking things lightly against Bangladesh. "We are not thinking as if we have already qualified (for the Super Eights)," he said.

"We have to play well against Bangladesh, who we know can come hard. On certain days in T20, anybody can win. We are not going to take anyone easily. All the boys are focussed. The most important thing as a unit is every player wants to do well for Pakistan and is working hard. Every man is ready to perform under pressure."

Meanwhile another stalwart in the team, former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said Bangladesh have some dangerous players in the side so they will not take the neighbours lightly.

"We are not even taking Bangladesh lightly for tomorrow's (Tuesday) match as they are a very improved side and have some dangerous players," Malik said.

Malik said in the T20 format results change in four to five overs and any team were capable of causing an upset.

"In this tournament I feel even 50 to 60 runs are hard to defend in the final five to four overs the standards of competition are high," he said.

Malik, who captained Pakistan between 2007 and 2009, said he was enjoying his comeback to the national team.

"I am playing well and hitting the ball well so I am pretty confident of doing well in the Super Eights which will pit the strongest teams against each other," he said.

He pointed out that Pakistan's bowling was their main strength as it had lot of variety and options.

"Ajmal has been bowling outstandingly well and he is someone who every team is looking at closely."

Bangladesh, for their part, have not beaten Pakistan in any format since 1999. This brings pressure of their own.

"There's pressure in every game," said captain Mushfiqur Rahim. "Even Pakistan would think the same way. They would not want to lose to Bangladesh. What we need to do is play well in all departments. In the last game, we didn't do 60 percent of what we are able to. If we can play to our 100 percent, it will be a positive result. As you have said, we haven't defeated them in 13 years. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is another opportunity to beat them."

Mushfiqur admitted that Ajmal was on his mind. "He's a big factor," he said. "He will start bowling in the Powerplay when we have to take some risks. We can't play all their bowlers normally, but attack some."

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Bangalore vs Mumbai

On Now: Bangalore vs Mumbai

Bangalore hold Mumbai back to a paltry 115 after electing to field. More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as England coach

Moores gets second stint as England coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »