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‘We did not lose to India because of World Cup’

Mirpur: A shattered Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez struggled to explain the reason behind his team’s defeat to arch rivals India on Friday. He agreed to everything that was pointed out as factors that may have led to the defeat.

Was the defeat due to the Pakistan’s bad bowling in the first 10 overs? “You can say that. You have to set the tone right from the start. But unfortunately, one run out at the start of the innings and the pitch did not help — as the ball was also not coming on to the bat and there was some spongy bounce in it. We couldn’t get that total in the first 10 overs.

“Still I believe that partnership between Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malek gave us some hope that we can score 150 runs on this track. But during those three overs after the 15th, we couldn’t get the momentum right and we couldn’t get that total.”

Did his team not bowl well due to the dew factor? “No, there wasn’t much dew, the ball didn’t get wet but it is true that the pitch became better to bat on in the second innings because of whatever little moisture helped, the ball come on to the bat.”

Are the repeated losses to India in World Cup affecting him and the team? “Not really, but it is getting into history now. Whatever has happened has happened. We tried our level best but unfortunately we couldn’t bring the result that we wanted to. But still, I think there are a lot of things to come in this tournament and we are looking positive. There were some positives from this game. Bilawal Bhatti bowled really well, Umar Akmal and Sohaib Maqsood really played very well.”

Hafeez wanted to wipe out the perception that if it is the World Cup, then his team invariably cannot beat India. “You can say whatever you want but my personal belief is that we don’t think that we can’t beat India because it’s [the] World Cup. We don’t go out with that thought because the things were very positive. We unfortunately couldn’t break this streak but next time, we will try our best.”