“Nobody could have predicted in favor of Pakistan in 1992 World Cup, but they eventually won even after a bad beginning. Likewise, I feel that although Pakistan may not have top ranked players in the squad but they could still win the title. All they need is to lift their confidence and morale with a will to perform as a team,” Shoaib Mohammad told ARYNEWS.tv.
“Sometimes, some individual player like Younis Khan with some good performance could help the team win a match. But team effort is the force behind the achievements of big titles,” said Shoaib, who played in 45 Tests and 63 ODIs from 1983 to 1995 for Pakistan.
He reiterated that every tournament was won when a particular team performed as a unit and if some key player failed to perform in a match, another would do for the team.
He stressed that Pakistan should go all out to win the beginning matches in order to boost its morale before the knockouts.
“What I have seen is that Pakistan record big wins in the first few matches and then fail to perform when it mattered the most. They should go all out to win every match. However, I have observed that when they will record close victories, it gives them more exposure to pressure before important matches. Close victories help our team,” he said.
Moreover, he brushed aside the idea that Pakistan would be a weakling in the tournament since they have recently lost two ODI series in UAE against World Cup hosts Australia and New Zealand.
“Yes they lost the series, but I don’t think it would make them underdogs in the World Cup. It will be a matter of how well they acclimatize with the conditions Down Under and their passion to win the title for the country,” Shoaib said.
“We have tried and tested players and many of them were a part of the World T20 Championship winning team. So Pakistan also has the same prospects, which other teams would have,” he said.
However, optimist Shoaib admitted that Pakistan bowling department has been struggling after Saeed Ajmal pulled out of the World Cup after being suspended for illegal action and an injury-stricken fast bowling bench.
“Umar Gul may play the role played by Wasim Akram and Aqib Javed in 1992 for Pakistan. I hope he recover fully from his fitness problems and gain form before the World Cup. Junaid Khan could also boosts Pakistan bowling attack provided he recover from his injury well and gain fitness,” Shoaib said.