’Pressure will be on India’


“I think after the World T20 final (2007) this is the first time both teams are in the final of an ICC event. It’s a big match and the expectation is high from both countries. It’s a dream one for the sponsors and broadcasters. That’s the game they want, it’s up to us how we take it and how we handle the pressure on the day. India refused to play against us (bilaterally). I think the boys can do it. We’ve got nothing to lose, their odds are higher than us,” said Mahmood after a training session at the Oval in London on Friday.

Pakistan, ranked eighth in the world prior to the event, shocked favourites England in the semifinal and are just one win away from causing another massive upset. Mahmood, who holds a British passport, said the team is very talented and it’s not fair to dub their wins as shock results. 

“It (semifinal win) wasn’t a shock, we’re playing good cricket. It won’t be a shock (if we win the final). We were No 8 in the world when we came in here and no one gave us credit. At the start someone asked me a question who is going to be in the final and I said Pakistan. It’s because I believe in my boys and if the boys can believe that, we can go and win this one. It won’t be a surprise or anything. We’re here to win it and that’s our aim.”

Mahmood also showered praise on Hasan Ali, the pacer who has got a knack of picking wickets in the middle-overs. “I think he’s one of the best bowlers Pakistan have right now. He’s a wicket-taker and the reason for our wins is that he comes in the middle period and takes wickets. We have an attacking option now with the old ball and new.”

In a welcome boost for Pakistan, their lead pacer Mohammed Amir trained hard on Friday. The gifted left-arm pacer missed the semifinal against England owing to a back spasm. 

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