Srinagar: Pakistan senior pacer Hasan Ali has said that Pakistan is confident of bouncing back from its morale shattering defeat against India by getting back to winning ways against Australia.
Hasan Ali said this in a pre match press conference while replying to reporters questions.
What is the mood in the camp? Looks like the car has stopped going ahead, lost to India. How pumped up are you to play against a team like Australia? And how do you see the Australian team?
Yes of course, the car has slowed down while going ahead – there was a stop. But there are many big stops ahead. The car will drive like this. We will take two points from each stop. The atmosphere in the dressing room is very good Shahid Bhai [reporter who asked the question] and the boys are confident.
The Australian team is not an easy team. But we are looking forward and the results will be very good.
You might not agree, but we didn’t play good cricket against India, the performance was very low calibre for Pakistan. Now after 5 days when the team will come on the ground, what have you’ll done in these 5 days that you will perform well in the next 6 matches?
Also, right now Pakistan team has 13 fit players – Pakistan always used to announce the 11 players in the Asia Cup.
So now what do you think – how will the Pakistan team go ahead?
Yes, we agree that we didn’t play to our calibre, it’s not that we don’t agree. We have made mistakes, but it’s not the end of the world.
I will say this and you might have heard this word many times – Nothing has changed. We lost and we were in pain. We were a better team and we couldn’t perform like that.
We sat together with the team and had a healthy discussion. We discussed the things that need improvement. We tried to improve in the nets.
As you said, there are 13 fit players. No one has control over their health and injury.
Its just room sickness, a flu and hopefully we all will be fine soon.
Besides that, we have a match against a big team, we are also a big team. We have come to win the World Cup and are trying to play a good wicket.
Now about the Asia Cup – I don’t know, that was the decision of the management, now if I was the head coach or captain, I could have answered you better.
Before this tournament, during the Asia Cup, we were called the best pace attack in the world. And now we are generally struggling. Obviously, you have come after a long time. Shaheen is not in his full rhythm. So, tell us about the pace attack. As the tournament goes forward, are you expecting to achieve your full rhythm?
Or if you have any issues, do you want to share anything about that?
The first question you asked about being the best pace attack in the world – we have not called ourselves that – the world calls us the best.
I think only one bowler has changed, the rest all are the same.
I think you guys don’t like my wild card entry. But I feel proud.
Shaheen has won us many matches in Pakistan. I know he is not fit right now but very soon he will be there. He is a champion and he has given a lot of performances for Pakistan.
I think that is the only change in the bowling lineup. One person has changed and that too due to an injury.
As a bowling unit, our effort is – obviously the games here are very high scoring. But this is not an excuse. We are not making an excuse that the games here are high scoring. You have to find a way. Our effort will be to perform for our team.
You bowl a lot of overs with the new ball, but you also have a lot of overs in the middle overs. Does it happen that you try bowling a short ball because wickets are so important in that phase? Can you talk about that? That thinking and that phase of bowling.
In ODI cricket or any other format, until you don’t take a wicket you can’t stop the batsman from taking runs. Especially in ODI, the middle overs are difficult as a bowler because by then the batsman are set, the field is open. It’s easier to take single/double runs
So, the skill of the bowler – like my skill – my inswing, outswing, bouncer – whatever skill I have, I will try to use it to take a wicket. So far wickets are falling in the middle overs – if you see in all the previous matches – runs are made in the beginning but then suddenly the batting lineup collapses. That’s what has been seen in the World Cup till now.
Using your skills, you need to take wickets and that’s what I am trying to do. I have been given the role to play the new ball and the middle overs – if you see I have taken quite a few wickets in the middle overs. That’s the role that I am playing.
Do you miss the Pakistani fans? You definitely must have in Ahmedabad.
Secondly – the Pakistani run rate has been declining. We are 4th position right now but the run rate is important – along with wins we need to improve our run rate too.
Our fans have increased since you all have some. You’ll have got visas – we had 40 fans, now we have 43 – 45 – 47.
Of course, we miss our fans, but that is not in our control of whether the fans are here or not. As a professional, we should focus on cricket, and that’s what we are doing.
I think it’s important to win a match, the run rate is not that important. If you win a match, then I think everything is covered. And every team has its own way of playing. So, we have a way too. Yes, when we are not producing good results, then you can criticize us. But if we are winning matches with the same run rate, then I think everyone has their own way. So that’s what we are doing.
You said you are not the coach or captain that you can tell us about the playing 11 – out of Pakistan’s 15 players – now I think everyone has recovered.
Secondly you have come to your ‘in laws’ country to play, so how are you enjoying the hospitality?
I think everyone has recovered; Mohamad Haris who is amongst the travelling reserves has also come to the ground today. All the players are available. I think Fakhar is not there, he has some issue with his knee. The remaining 14 players are available. Rest – as I said, I am not the captain, so I can’t tell you more about that.
As far as hospitality is concerned, they are doing it very well. I am under extra pressure. It’s fun here. They are taking good care of us.
One thing is that we can’t go out much. If we do want to go out, we have to go with an entire security team. But fair enough, that’s one issue. But the hospitality so far is good.
Hassan, regarding your personal bowling evolution, you were not in the team for a year. So, in which areas did you work during that time? And what was it like when you fell in the pace bowlers pecking order?
What areas did you work in towards your bowling?
I was out of the team for a year but I didn’t change anything. I didn’t bring anything new -I just focused on my basics and worked on performing wherever I could and grabbing opportunities. I have got the opportunity and I am trying to show my hard work and experience here at this mega event, as the entire world watches this event every 4 years. I was working on my basic that’s it. Nothing special.
The Australian teams batting line up is very strong – Steve Smith has always been in the top four – how are you’ll planning against him?
Talking about bowling – our bowling was very weak in the middle overs. Like the match against India got over very fast – even though the score was 200+  but the balls weren’t on line. Now this is also a batting friendly wicket – what kind of pressure are the bowlers facing?
We all know that there are high scoring grounds here. I just said that this is not an excuse. As a player, as a professional, you have to find a way to perform and take wickets. There is only one way to stop the runs, which is to take wickets.
Of course, our bowling against India was not up to the mark which we have done in previous matches. But that is gone and that is history now and we will learn from these mistakes.
You spoke about their batting line up – yes, their batting line up is very strong but we also have experience and good bowlers and we will try our best whatever the situation – obviously this is a World Cup and everyone is here to win and perform. I think whichever team performs well on the day will win.
We know where we have to improve and where we made mistakes. India – Pakistan match is such that it can make or break your career. This is the reality. Maybe if that was a match against some other team you wouldn’t be asking us this or if we had won you wouldn’t be asking this – so that is our mistake but we are looking forward and the team is very confident.