DateLine: 3rd May 2010
Tough talking former captain Aamir Sohail believes that Pakistan's opponents will target the reigning champions and scrutinise their team thoroughly.
Speaking to PakPassion.net from Lahore, Sohail stated "The Pakistan team will have come up in plenty of team meetings and there will have been plenty of conversations about the reigning champions. Last time around in England, Pakistan surprised a number of their opponents, with the likes of Mohammad Aamer being relative unknowns, but this time around Pakistan's opponents will have done their homework and will target Afridi's team".
Sohail who still has high hopes for his countrymen in the Caribbean, believes that of all the players missing from the squad this time around, compared with the victorious squad of last year, Shoaib Malik will be sorely missed.
"Malik is a Twenty/20 specialist and on the Caribbean wickets he would have been ideal. Yes, he'll be missed this time around".
Speaking to PakPassion regarding the batting tactics the Pakistan squad should employ, Sohail feels that successful teams on the wickets in the Caribbean will adopt an approach that preserves wickets, rather than blazing away from ball one.
"Pakistan need to try and target 150 as a par score if they bat first. If they target a score of 150, then there is every chance that they could exceed that total especially with wickets in hand and lower order big hitters like Afridi and Razzaq at the crease. However if the Pakistan team try to blaze away from ball one, they could end up losing key wickets and then finding themselves with tailenders at the crease when the slog is on".
Sohail also feels that this Twenty/20 World Cup could be the one where bowlers "fight back" and scores are relatively low compared to previous World Cups.
"Bowlers are now more patient when it comes to twenty over cricket. Initially when they got hit for a boundary, they (bowlers) would lose their control and try to experiment too much. Nowadays, if a bowler gets hit for a boundary, it's no big deal,the more experienced bowlers tend to stay patient and keep their cool".
Pakistan's hopes to retain the World Twenty/20 crown were dealt a blow yesterday after their defeat to Zimbabwe and Sohail stated that "playing according to the conditions in the Caribbean is absolutely vital. Assessment of the wickets from the captain and coach is key, and they must select a team that is suited to the wickets they encounter and not necessarily the team they would have liked to have picked ahead of the tournament"
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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