ANI Photo | “Australian tour is an exciting challenge ahead of us,” says Pakistan Director of Cricket Hafeez

Pakistan men’s Director of Cricket Mohammed Hafeez said that the tour of Australia is an exciting challenge for his team, where his team has “nothing to lose and a lot to gain”.
Pakistan will travel to Australia for a three-match series as part of the ongoing ICC World Test Championship, starting from December 14 onwards. Pakistan have not won a Test in this country for 28 years, having lost their last 14 consecutive Tests here.
Hafeez, who has never played a Test in Australia, urged his style to play an aggressive, modern brand of cricket and see their losing streak as an opportunity.
“When there is excitement in your challenge, when there is a nothing-to-lose opportunity and a lot to gain, you are winning. As a team, our goal is not what history says but what we can go out there and achieve. The mindset is very clear – this is a very exciting challenge ahead of us and, together, we can bring better results. I cannot answer for past results, but from here on you will see better results for Pakistan,” said Hafeez as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
Pakistani team prepares to fly to Australia, with a new captain, Shan Masood. There is no official head coach, though Grant Bradburn is still with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officially. The old team director Mickey Arthur is not there and PCB just appointed former pacer Wahab Riaz, as their fifth selector this year.
On the field, their worries mainly revolve around the bowling attack. Shaheen Shah Afridi is the pace spearhead, but there is a lack of clarity that who will give him company in the absence of an injured Naseem Shah. Hasan Ali also looks stagnant as a pacer and Abrar Ahmed, though he has shown promise, still lacks experience as a spinner.
But Hafeez still has confidence and said that the team has good bowlers, the best ones in the entire system of Pakistan cricket. He also said that losses cannot be blamed on the absence of one player, in this case, Naseem.
“It is an exciting challenge and I repeat that a lot because when you want to gain something, you get excited. Naseem is injured, but I do not think you can pin losses on the absence of one player. Every player has to deliver,” said Hafeez.
“In this team, the bowling unit has good bowlers, the best ones in the Pakistan system have been selected. The bowling line-up that we have, I have a very strong gut feeling that they can give winning performances there. When you take 20 wickets, that is when you have a chance of winning. I think our bowling is capable of doing that,” he added.
Hafeez said that the Pakistan batting is in good health and the message to the players is to continue playing attacking cricket.
“Every team has their own winning mantra and strategy. We will not play according to how another team plays, but we will have to make our own strategy of how we are going to win. Pakistan’s cricket has always done better when they are being aggressive. That is a very clear message to all the players that we want them to play with an aggressive mindset. We will not change to someone else’s style, but we want to have our own strong style,” said Hafeez.
The former all-rounder expressed that modern-day cricket is not something someone swallows and starts playing all of a sudden and expressed hope that Pakistan will take the first step towards playing modern-day cricket.
“Modern-day cricket is not a pill that you swallow and you suddenly start playing it. It is an intent, a way of thinking, that you want to play in a dominating position, to stay ahead of the game at all times, and to bring in impactful performances. Everyone at this level performs but it is no point unless it is impactful. We need to come out of our comfort zones and work towards achieving team goals and being impactful. You will hopefully see Pakistan cricket take the first step towards playing modern-day cricket,” he concluded. (ANI)

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