Pakistan are a dominant force in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE, moving to the top of Group 2 with four wins in as many outings. All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez said the team was always confident of performing well in these conditions.
In a video released by the Pakistan Cricket Board on their official Twitter handle, Hafeez spoke of the winning start and said the team had kept itself physically and mentally prepared for the competition.
"I feel very proud to be a part of this team and am proud of the way we have responded. We were in Lahore and we prepared our mindset from there. Some matches could not take place but we kept ourselves mentally and physically ready since we had played a lot of cricket. So we had a lot of confidence that we would do well in these conditions." Hafeez said.
"One of the most beautiful dream games of my career" - Mohammad Hafeez on the win against India
Hafeez said the win over India in their opening match of the tournament is one that he'll remember forever and added that the momentum gained from that clash saw them beat New Zealand next.
"The first match we played was one of the most beautiful dream games of my career which I will remember forever. Our campaign started from there - the players responded positively under tough situations. The players responded well to different challenges - starting with captain Babar Azam who led from the front with his innings against India. Rizwan continued his great form which he has been in throughout the year. We enjoyed that win a lot. The match against India is such that when you win or lose, the consequences of it come in front of you. The momentum and high morale we had after that win, we played with the same against New Zealand and I feel that our players had extra motivation for the game against New Zealand as well. The way the players responded to that game and were mentally ready for that game and the kind of cricket we played to win, any word of appreciation is less," Hafeez added.
Hafeez went on to hail the coaching staff.
"The momentum and mindset we had after these two tough matches and having overcome many challenges to prepare ourselves, no word of appreciation is enough. The entire coaching staff and management too - Saqlain bhai is here as an interim coach but he is so clear with his mindset before every game and he communicates the same to the players. At the same time Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander are doing a great job for the team," Hafeez said.
"I don't think we need to change anything" - Mohammad Hafeez
Hafeez said the team is looking to build on its winning momentum after sealing a semifinal spot with a game to spare.
"As a team, we handle our successes and failures really well and support each other. You can see that we started a difficult campaign and different opinions were made of our team before the start of the tournament but together we changed those opinions. I have a lot of hope that with the kind of momentum we are playing and the zest with which we want to earn respect for our nation - the Almighty is also helping us - we will try our very best to ensure that we conquer the next few matches too." the all-rounder added.
Hafeez signed off saying the team does not need to change anything.
"We have ticked off a lot of boxes until now. Whatever challenge has come ahead of us we have accepted them and tried to hit them. I don't think we need to change anything - we are very confident. All of our performances are coming out well. No matter which team we come up against, we have to follow our procedures and work ethics and hopefully we will come out successful in this tournament," Hafeez concluded.
Pakistan are the first team to seal a semifinal spot
With four wins in four games, the Babar Azam-led outfit became the first team to seal a semifinal spot from Group 2. Pakistan beat India, New Zealand and Afghanistan in their first three games and Namibia in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday (November 2).
Pakistan will play Scotland in their final league game in Sharjah on Sunday (November 7).