Colombo, March 3 (IANS) Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi said unity in the team had resulted in their impressive wins against Kenya and co-hosts Sri Lanka in the World Cup.
“Unity is our secret recipe,” Shahid Afridi said. “The boys knew there is no other way we can win the World Cup. It was necessary to gel together and play as a unit. We’ve done that; now it’s our greatest strength.”
Until last month, very few were backing Pakistan to win the World Cup. They seemed down and out after a string of controversies.
They had lost three of their key players to a spot-fixing scandal. Their performance was below average at times while there was even uncertainty over who will lead them in the mega event.
But back-to-back wins against Kenya and Sri Lanka have allayed the doubts. Now Pakistan can hope to finish at top of Pool A.
Trevor Bayliss, the Sri Lankan coach, believes Pakistan have as good a chance as anyone to win the Cup.
Abdul Razzaq, the seasoned Pakistan all-rounder, echoed Afridi.
“The thing is that when you trust each other, then you play for each other. You start enjoying whatever role is given to you. That’s the way we are going right now. The team is completely united and focused on winning the World Cup,” said Razzaq.
Pakistani team manager Intikhab Alam believes that better communication is the reason behind the team unity.
“Most of the mistrust within a team is created by lack of communication,” he said.
“When you are not talking to each other, misunderstandings are bound to seep in. Then you start suspecting your mates.
“That’s the worst thing which can happen to a team. In such an atmosphere you can’t do well even if you have the best players. It doesn’t work that way,” said Intikhab, a former Test captain who was the coach when Pakistan won the 1992 World Cup and the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 championship.