London: Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed does not seem too affected by the defeat to arch-rivals India in their World Cup match and is rather confident of his team’s comeback against South Africa today.
Pakistan have won just one of their five matches in the World Cup so far, but what drew major flak for the team was the loss to India by 89 runs in their last game at Manchester. Sarfaraz insisted that it was not the first time they had lost to India in the World Cup and hence “it’s fine.”
“Everything is fine after the India match,” Sarfaraz was quoted as saying by ICC website. This was Pakistan’s seventh loss to the traditional rivals in the 50-over showpiece event. “Psychologically there is a pressure on you as a Pakistan captain if you lose against India in a World Cup match. People will think we are beaten but it’s not the first time we have lost to them in a World Cup, so it’s fine. We all are OK and we are all are backing ourselves, so hopefully we will bounce back,” he added.
Sarfaraz admitted the players and their families faced lot of taunting, including social media trolling after the defeat. “Players have their personal lives. Whatever they (the public) think, they write it on social media. That hurts, too much. Our families get affected,” said Sarfaraz.
“Players are affected psychologically. Such things should not happen. I know you cannot stop anyone. Our fans are emotional and these same people lift us when we win. “But if they feel sad on a defeat we also feel the same way. We feel it much more because we are playing for Pakistan,” he added. Sarfaraz urged the fans not to abuse the players personally.
“There should be no abusing, criticise our game. That’s not an issue,” he said. After the match against India, Pakistan had a week to analyse that loss and they are now looking to beat a lowly South African side, who also have just one win from six outings.
“It (loss against India) was tough for us but after the match, we gave our players two days’ rest. Then after three days, we were practising hard. “Morale is still very high for us. The tournament is open now, so we have a chance and we are focusing match by match. Hopefully we can start by beating South Africa,” said Sarfaraz.
The two sides contested a highly-competitive ODI series in South Africa earlier this year in January, where Pakistan eventually lost 2-3. However, the 32-year-old Pakistan captain feels it is foolish to read too much into those games which took place six months ago.
“If you talk about the South Africa series, it’s different. A bilateral series has a different type of pressure to a World Cup. “We played good cricket but unfortunately we didn’t win the series. We are very hopeful heading into the game against South Africa and we will try our best,” said Sarfaraz.