Arch-rivals clash: Hafeez relishes Pakistan's all-round riches
MIRPUR (DHAKA): Leading a side teeming with all-rounders, Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez enjoys an embarrassment of riches that he believes will give the 2009 champions a definite edge in the World Twenty20.
"We do believe we have good all-rounders in our side," Hafeez told reporters on the eve of Friday's Super 10 opener against arch-rivals India at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
"With Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, myself and Kamran Akmal as the wicketkeeper-batsman we are blessed to have players like that. Hopefully it will help us."
Afridi was in spectacular form in the recent Asia Cup, also in Bangladesh, and Hafeez predicted the flamboyant all-rounder would continue in the same fashion even though he was "not 100 percent" fit.
"He's in good form, we've seen that in the Asia Cup. This is a good sign for us because we always want him to bat lower in the order and finish the game for Pakistan," Hafeez said of the maverick leg-spinner who is also one of the most hard-hitting batsmen around.
"It's always good to know he's in good nick and a good frame of mind. It's always great your senior player is always looking forward to challenges."
Hafeez's India counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni was envious of Pakistan's riches.
"The more all-rounders you have the more difficult it gets for the opposition," Dhoni said.
"If you have players who can bat and bowl and if they are proper all-rounders, spinning or fast bowling, they add to the strength of the team."