They said the players must remain focused on other tough opposition and winning the mega-event
Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and current skipper Babar Azam were among the ones who cautioned the players of not going “overboard” with their celebrations following the historic win over India as it was only the first match of the team’s T20 World Cup campaign.
Misbah, who was forced to resign as head coach of the national team one month before the World T20 Cup, said the players must remain focussed on winning the mega-event after beating India for the first time in a World Cup.
Speaking on the A sports Channel with Waqar who also resigned as bowling coach before the tournament, Misbah said: “I just hope we don’t go overboard with the celebrations and forget we have more matches to play and win in the World Cup.” Misbah said that the team had displayed perfect discipline and executed its plans to perfection to beat India by 10 wickets.
“Now the task is to ensure we continue to play with the same discipline with every player fulfilling his role like he did against India if we are to win the tournament,” Misbah added.
Misbah and Waqar both resigned soon after the team returned from the West Indies and a few days after former captain and commentator Ramiz Raja took charge as Pakistan Cricket Board chairman on September 13.
Waqar also noted that it was a tendency in Pakistan cricket that celebrations tended to go overboard. “This is only the first match and we are still to play against other tough opposition. If we beat India today it does not mean we should take it for granted we can also beat New Zealand, Afghanistan for that we will have to continue the hard work.”
Interestingly, Pakistan captain Babar Azam made the same impassioned plea to his players in a video released by the PCB soon after the match against India.
“Lets celebrate, let us go back to the hotel and enjoy this moment with our families but don’t forget this match is now over and we must get back on track to preparing for the other matches of the tournament,” Babar said to his players.
Babar said that after beating India there would be more expectations from the team now and to live up to them the players will have to work harder. “I want every player to celebrate this moment tonight but then go back to realising what his role is in the team and what is expected of him in the remaining matches.” “We have not just come here to win against India, we have come here to win the World Cup, always remember that,” Babar said.
Pakistan team’s interim head coach, Saqlain Mushtaq also reminded the players that now teams will come stronger at Pakistan after the win over India.
“We must all do soul searching and think what we did right today to win the match in such a fashion and to also think and keep working on the weak areas where we still need to continue to do work to remove them. It is about honest self assessment,” he said.
Saqlain also said that the players must not get carried away with the celebrations after the win over India as cricket was a cruel sport and every match was a new one.
Former Pakistan opener, Mohsin Khan said that winning the toss had been vital for Pakistan and Babar Azam took the right decision to chase down a total as dew would remain a big factor for teams in the tournament.
Former Test pacer Aaqib Javed said that Shaheen Shah Afridi’s burst of two wickets with the new ball and Hasan Ali’s one wicket put India on the back foot and they never recovered after that. “I liked the way the bowlers displayed so much discipline and game awareness today. Haris Rauf used the slower balls to great advantage,” he said.
Aaqib, a member of the 1992 World Cup winning squad, said that it was good to see the Pakistan players showing so much self-belief and confidence. “India is a top side and to beat them by 10-wickets is amazing. Don’t rule out a rematch with them perhaps in the final,” he said.
Pakistan’s former wicketkeeper-batsman and captain Rashid Latif lauded the thorough professional attitude and performance from the players.
“Everything went according to plan today starting with the toss. I don’t think any other team which loses its head coach and bowling coach just before a World Cup can perform like this. This can only be done by Pakistan which produces remarkable cricket when least expected,” Latif said.
Pakistan’s former Test pacer Umar Gul said he had no doubt that India would make a strong comeback in their remaining matches. “They are a very strong side and they will be smarting after this defeat. Expect them to come back strongly.”