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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pakistan has always given India tough time as visiting team: Afridi

Pakistan's limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi has said that Pakistan has always given a tough time to India when playing in the neighbouring country, and that his team will plan a better strategy against the hosts in their World Cup semi-final clash in Mohali. 

Afridi, who led his team to a thumping victory against the West Indies in the quarterfinal on Wednesday, said that the morale of his squad is very high, and that each player of the team has a sense of responsibility, especially against India. 

He further said that he had fulfilled the promise of reaching the semi-finals, and now all his boys were confident enough to tackle India and give positive results in the March 30 game. 

"The Pakistan team is ready to compete with any team anywhere and he will plan a strategy according to the situation. The boys are professional cricketers," The Nation quoted the skipper, as saying. 

Afridi had initially said that his team would prefer to play their quarterfinal or semifinal out of India because of the pressure involved in playing in front of the Indian crowd, but later retracted his statement, saying that Pakistan was willing to play at any venue, including India, as its main emphasis was on cricket and doing well on the field. 

"Of course, every team like to have the crowd supporting them but it doesn't mean we cannot play in front of fans, who are backing our rival team. There were over 30,000 people supporting Sri Lanka in Colombo but we won that match," he said. 

Expectations are high in the cricket-crazy region for a mouth-watering Indo-Pak clash for a slot in the World Cup final match to be held at Mumbai on April 2. 

India and Pakistan have not played in any bilateral series since the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008. The Pakistan cricketers have also not played in the Indian Premier League since its first edition in early 2008.

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