Inzamam calls on Pakistan to show their wild side

Last updated at 15:08 01 March 2007

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has called on his squad to draw inspiration from the 1992 World Cup victory in Australia to overcome the absence of several key players through injury.

The Pakistan squad left for the Caribbean on Thursday without experienced performers Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who were all ruled out due to fitness


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"We are under pressure, but I have great faith in this team because it has shown fighting qualities in the past," Inzamam said.

"We have been doing well over the last two years in one day cricket despite injury issues and the players who stepped in have performed very well for us," he said.

Inzamam said the replacement players for this year's tournament knew what was required of them and they must play every match like a final.

"We fought like cornered tigers in 1992 and won that tournament. We have to retain that sort of faith in ourselves this time," he added.

Inzamam, who turns 37 on Saturday, is appearing in his fifth World Cup and was a member of the team that beat England in the Melbourne final despite a troubled start to the tournament.

The stylish batsman, who has played 375 one-dayers and amassed 11,665 runs, said one advantage for teams from the sub-continent was that the pitches in the West Indies were

expected to play slow.

"We have couple of very good spinners in the side and they have experience of bowling in Caribbean conditions," he said.

"They can make up for the loss of Shoaib and Asif, although how we bowl in the powerplay overs will be crucial."

Inzamam scored just 19 runs in six innings as Pakistan were eliminated in the first round of the 2003 World Cup and he is determined to make amends for that failure.

"The last time was a nightmare for me and the team also performed badly. I am keen to make this World Cup a successful one. I know that I have to score runs to pick up the team

spirit," he said.

Pakistan's strength lies in its middle order, revolving around Inzamam, Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan, who have played 756 matches between them.

The Pakistan skipper said this year's World Cup was fairly open but Australia were still his favourites to win despite a slump in form.

"They might have lost some recent matches but they are still a very good side and not easy to beat when on a roll," he added.

"Consistency is the key to success."

Pakistan are in Group D with the West Indies, Ireland and Zimbabwe and open their campaign against the hosts on March 13.

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