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Hafeez downplays rigorous challenge against Australia
Pakistan News

Hafeez downplays rigorous challenge against Australia

Mohammad Hafeez believes Pakistan do not have to fear defending champions Australia as the two sides clash in Taunton on Wednesday.

The experienced all-rounder is confident his team can build upon the impetus provided to Pakistan after they pulled off a major upset by defeating England by 14 runs in Nottingham.

The main protagonist of Pakistan's remarkable victory was Hafeez, who top-scored for his side with a graceful 84 off 62 deliveries helping his team reach a daunting total of 348-8, just days after their batting badly floundered against the West Indies.

"I think all 10 teams are beatable," Hafeez told AFP.

"If you look at England they were playing top cricket and people were thinking it would be hard to beat them."

Speaking before Australia's 36-run loss versus tournament favourites India, Hafeez added: "But all teams are beatable ... if you talk of our next opponent (Australia) they are also playing very good cricket but they too can be defeated."

'We have momentum after England win'

Pakistan will be wary of the fact their recent record against Australia has been really poor, having triumphed in just a solitary game out of the last 14 one-day internationals.

Moreover, the Aussies comfortably completed a whitewash over a depleted Pakistan side ahead of the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in March.

"Yes, we don't have a very good record against Australia because they play tough cricket but every day is a new day," said Hafeez.

He emphasized the importance of the confidence-boosting win against England, as being crucial to lifting the spirits of the team.

"This is a World Cup and we now have momentum after our win over England."

Meanwhile, rain proved to be the spoilsport in the match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan leading to both sides sharing a point each after the match was abandoned without a delivery bowled.

"Yes, that was frustrating but you cannot do much about the weather and now we have moved on. But I am sure when we play again we will put up the same game that we played against England," Hafeez pledged.

'Positive thinking helped bring change'

Hafeez reflected on Pakistan's dramatic turnaround from their horrendous display in the World Cup opener to an impressive batting performance against the hosts England, by pointing out a positive change in their attitude that allowed them to work on their mistakes.

"I think we realised that we played a very bad game and we gave confidence to each other and convinced each other that we can win and that positive thinking helped bringing the change," said Hafeez, who has represented Pakistan in 212 ODIs thus far.

A bumper barrage proved to be Pakistan's undoing their match against Jason Holder's men, while a visible adjustment in the technique of the batsmen in handling the short ball threat against England's pacers paid dividends.

Pakistan's win over England ended their worst ever sequence of defeats, stretching to 11 games which began when they lost the series-decider against South Africa in January.

"Yes, we had been losing but we were playing good cricket," Hafeez clarified. "The best thing about the England win was that everyone contributed.

"Even Hasan Ali, who didn't get a wicket, but his last three overs were good and brought us back," said Hafeez of the medium-pacer who finished with 0-66 in 10 overs.

"When you play like that you get confidence and momentum."