Kolkata: Not ready to dwell on the past, Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi says the morale-boosting win over Bangladesh will hold them in good stead when they clash with arch-rivals India in their crucial ICC World Twenty20 match at the Eden Gardens here on Saturday.
Shahid Afridi. Pic/PTI
Stung by unwarranted criticism and controversy, Afridi today gave a fitting reply with a brilliant all-round show as he blasted 49 off 19 balls and also took two for 27 in his four overs to help Pakistan avenge their Asia Cup loss to Bangladesh by notching up a 55-run win and start their World T20 campaign on a positive note.
Pakistan's next WT20 match is against India on Saturday here, a venue where the visitors have never lost to the home team before. "I don't want to talk about the past, I don't live in past. I think we should learn from our mistakes. We have done well against these guys and India have been playing good cricket, even with the last loss. We won this match and everyone is feeling good after this win," said Afridi at the post match presentation ceremony.
Afridi said he would look to lead by example in the ongoing tournament. "My performances always play a key role, and I was really hungry to perform. For the last few series I didn't play well. But I was focused on my performance because I know how important it is for me and my country.
"It's a big event as captain, as senior player, I have to lead by example," said Afridi. Stating that he was happy to see his opening batsmen do well today, Afridi said: "I love to give chances to the rest of the batsmen. I think in the last two-three series, the batsmen struggled to find runs.
"First six overs was important, and Hafeez and Shehzad did very well. That was what we missed in the batting...the partnerships. Openers are very important, Shehzad and even Sharjeel can be very attacking. If he stays first six overs, the team will have 50-60. I expect them to perform well." Talking about his captaincy, Afridi said: "Captaincy is not an easy job, but when the team gives 100 per cent, I enjoy it. People expect me to bat and ball and I enjoy both."
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said they lost the match in the first six overs. "200 is always difficult with Pakistan bowling attack. And after six overs it was almost impossible. Shakib batted very well and we got 150, so it is not that bad," Mortaza said after his team were restricted to 146 for 6, chasing 202.
"We have to bowl better, we didn't bowl well today. First six overs we couldn't get much runs with the bat either. You can't practice much, you have to be mentally strong. With Australia's batting, it will be hard and Bangalore wicket is flat. Bowling group must bring better plans. Mustafiz is getting better, hopefully he'll be back," he added.