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Azhar Mahmood. (Photo- ICC)
"Problem is losing wickets after partnership": Pakistan assistant coach ahead of Canada clash in T20 World Cup
Azhar Mahmood. (Photo- ICC)

New York [US], June 11 (ANI): Ahead of his side's T20 World Cup match against Canada, Pakistan assistant coach Azhar Mahmood has said that the strike rate of players, notably skipper Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan, is not a big problem with their team's batting, but the team keeps losing wickets after a start.

Pakistan will take on Canada in their T20 World Cup Group A clash at New York's Nassau County International Stadium on Tuesday. After losing their first two games against USA and arch-rivals India, this match is a do-or-die one for Pakistan. On the other hand, Canada, which has won one and lost one so far, can make a huge statement if they win the match.

"Look, you are talking about the strike rate. Unfortunately, when we talk about strike rate, the whole public is focused on Babar and Rizwan. If you go back, even two years ago, or still go back, the problem is that your partnership is established, you get a platform set, and then in the ten to fifteen over period, you lose your wickets," Azhar said in the pre-match press conference,

If you look at India yesterday, when India played ten to fifteen overs, they made 19 runs and lost four wickets. When you lose wickets, you cannot control the opposition in T20 format. If you look at T20, if you get a partnership, because T20 format is a short format - so even if you set one partnership it can win the game. You have control of the game."

Speaking about Pakistan being dependent on other teams for the Super Eight qualification, Azhar said that in a big tournament, the teams need a bit of luck and added that all the team has tried to so far has not worked for them.

"It is very important - shot selection and decision-making. If you take the right decision at the right time, that will benefit you. It can come from nerves, or the fear of failure also - because until you do not have calmness - and until your body is tight, your decisions will be wrong," he said.

Speaking on allegations made by former pace legend Wasim Akram that skipper Babar and pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi do not talk to each other, Azhar rubbished the claims saying that they are good friends.

Speaking about players allegedly travelling and eating out despite two crushing losses, Azhar said that there is life beyond cricket.

"The thing is, we are a very emotional nation. I mean, it is not possible that if you lose a match, your life will be over. Yes. How will you do it? If you lose a match and then you come to the room and bang the walls of the room, then you need a little time to relax your mind. Now, obviously, our players are not like that. I have been with English teams, too. If they go to a place like that, you can only go to eat, that is our entertainment," said Azhar.

"Now tell me, who is not following a diet plan? All the teams in the world do it. There is no such thing. When we lose, we feel that we are not following this, we are not following that. If we had won, you would not be asking me this question," he added.


Canada Squad: Aaron Johnson, Navneet Dhaliwal, Pargat Singh, Dilpreet Bajwa, Nicholas Kirton, Shreyas Movva(w), Dillon Heyliger, Saad Bin Zafar(c), Junaid Siddiqui, Kaleem Sana, Jeremy Gordon, Nikhil Dutta, Rishiv Raghav Joshi, Rayyan Pathan, Ravinderpal Singh

Pakistan Squad: Mohammad Rizwan(w), Babar Azam(c), Usman Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Amir, Abrar Ahmed, Saim Ayub, Azam Khan, Abbas Afridi. (ANI)

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