LONDON: Pakistan’s bowling coach Azhar Mahmood on Friday promised his team will change the myth over losing most of the matches against India in the ICC World Cups, World Twenty20 and Champions Trophy.
Pakistan have never beaten India in the 50-over World Cups, having lost to their arch-rivals in 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2011 and 2015. They also lost twice in the inaugural Wold Twenty20 in South Africa followed by defeats in 2012, 2014 and 2016 — all defeats prompting Indian advertise to mock Pakistan before every ICC event.
But Azhar hopes it will change in Sunday’s Champions Trophy final at The Oval.
“Our record against India in all ICC events is not good but overall its better with 72 wins and 52 losses,” said Azhar. “They have an upper hand over us but this has to change and we will change that myth.
“Definitely Sunday’s game is a big game as this is the first final between us since 2007 and there is never a dull moment in an Indo-Pakistan game, so we want to change that,” said Azhar.
Azhar described the final as a “dream match.”
“Yes, its a dream game for not only both the teams but also for the billions of fans and advertisers as well as organizers,” said Azhar.
Azhar deplored Pakistan did not execute plans in the first game which India won by 124 runs at Edgbaston on June 4.
“When you give two chances to batsmen like Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli they are not going to spare you and that is what happened,” said Azhar of dropping Yuvraj on eight who went on to make 53 and letting off Kohli on 43 who made 81 not out as India piled up 319-3 in 48 overs.”
Azhar praised pacer Hasan Ali, tournment’s highest wicket taker with ten wickets.
“Ever since he has come in the team he is one of our best,” said Azhar of the 23-year-old bowler. “He is a wicket taking bowler and has given us crucial wickets in the middle overs with the old ball so when you take wickets in the middle overs you move forward and push the other team on the back foot.”
Azhar hoped The Oval will help seam and swing bowling.
“Here the weather is good so there will be swing unlike Edgbaston and Cardiiff where there was cold and less swing,” said Azhar.
Azhar hoped bowling spearhead Mohammad Amir will recover for Sunday’s final.
“He bowled today without any problem whatsoever,” said Azhar. “The back spasm took two days to get over, and he’s better now. We will go with Amir if he is fit. But we don’t mind – if he is not fit, then we move on with Rumman Raees.”
Amir missed the semi-final win over England with back trouble and was replaced by Raees.