Shoaib Malik: Big win over India in tournament opener gave us momentum

Pakistan batter Shoaib Malik on Monday said the big win over arch-rivals India gave his side the momentum to do well in the T20 World Cup as they are on the verge of qualifying for the semifinals.

Following a historic 10-wicket win over India in their opening match on October 24, Pakistan beat New Zealand and Afghanistan to continue their unbeaten run. A win against minnows Namibia here on Tuesday will confirm Pakistan’s semifinal spot in the T20 showpiece.

“To be honest, of course when you start your tournament and you start your tournament against a big team, and then you win that game, then everything comes in your dressing room,” Malik said at the pre-match press conference.

“And I guess momentum and everything has come to us when we played that game. Obviously, when you start the tournament, the goal is to give your best shot as a team.” Malik, who has played 119 T20I matches since making his debut in 2006, said since he joined the team, the way the players have been dealing with pressure has been exceptional.

“To see consistency in Pakistan dressing room, that’s the biggest thing for me so far, and everyone’s helping each other. And it’s a team game,” Malik said, according to the ICC.

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“When you’re playing a team game, then you need your teammates’ help, you need a lot of support from your management. And I see all of that coming,” said the 39-year-old right-handed batter.

He said the confidence level of the team is quite high, and the players are looking forward to doing well in the rest of the event.

Asked about Tuesday’s match against Namibia, he said, “To be honest, we are not thinking any different because T20 format is where you can’t take the opposition lightly.

“We are fully confident and in fact leaving soon for our practise session. So looking forward for the game.” Malik agreed that bio-bubble life is difficult, but it’s a bit better for the players if their families are around.

“Well, to be honest, bubble life, it’s a tough thing, especially when you’re like playing a lot of back-to-back series. But the good thing is that our families are with us. We’ve been spending a lot of time together as families, as teammates. So it’s a good thing.

“But when your goal is to achieve something in life, then you have to go through hard yards, and we have that in our mind. And we are only focused for this particular tournament. And some have started enjoying the bubble life as well.”

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