Pakistan, New Zealand skippers focus on crucial tie
Oct 24, 2006, 11:40 GMT
Mohali, Oct 24 (IANS) One is a raw hand at captaincy while the other will Wednesday create the record of being the most capped captain of any one-day international (ODI) side. But Pakistan's captain Younis Khan is as focused for the match as his New Zealand counterpart, Stephen Fleming.
Tuesday saw both captains marshal their respective teams to some hard practice at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium here. Both teams clash here Wednesday in the ICC Champions Trophy.
For New Zealand, it is a do or die situation in the tournament. They have already lost their game to Sri Lanka and to get to the semi-finals, a win against Pakistan is a must.
'Pakistan is always a dangerous side. They have fantastic cricketers like (Shahid) Afridi and (Abdul) Razzaq who are capable of winning games on their own. But we will give it our best and win the match Wednesday,' Fleming said adding that his side will have to bowl well to get over the Pakistanis.
Younis said his team was focused for Wednesday's game.
'There was little less pressure on us after our last win. But with the game against New Zealand, the pressure is back on us to win and get into the semi-final,' Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said.
Woolmer said that dew would remain an important factor at Mohali and that his team 'would handle it'.
'All teams now in the tournament are almost equal. West Indies beat Australia the other day. We have relaxed a lot in the last few days. But we will come back Wednesday to play a tough game,' Younis said here.
The Pakistan side hardly had any serious cricket practice in the last four-five days - spending more time playing football, watching Hindi movies and attending dinner parties.
Both captains said the pitch looked good and grassy but were worried about the heavy dew here in the evening.
'The toss will be crucial for the dew factor,' Younis said.
© 2006 Indo-Asian News Service