Karachi: Pakistan head coach Dav Whatmore has said that the ICC Champions Trophy match against India on Saturday was crucial as the team was looking to end its campaign on a winning note by defeating their arch rivals.
With no hope left of qualifying for the Champions Trophy semi-finals after they lost back-to-back matches in the event against West Indies and South Africa, and coupled with India`s win over the West Indies , Pakistan became the first team whose semi-final hopes were dashed.
Although the last fixture against India nothing more but a way to save face before the players return home, Whatmore, however, dismissed suggestions that it is a dead rubber game, saying that the game is important for them, and adding that the team will give their best to winning in the match.
Disappointed with the team`s performance in the last edition of the eight-nation tournament, Whatmore said that he felt that the difficult conditions in England were a reason behind Pakistan`s flop show, even though the team came fully prepared with intensive training sessions in Abbottabad and the appointment of Australian Trent Woodhill as batting coach.
Stating that the team is aware of what they need to do to rectify the situation, Whatmore also said that the conditions are different from one venue to another, adding that the batsmen found it difficult to play in these conditions.
Although the selection committee and team management came under fire for the team combination after their ouster from the tournament, however, Whatmore disagreed with the criticism, saying that team was balanced and he has found no problem in the team combination.
Defending his decision to demote Mohammad Hafeez to number three, the Australian said that it was due to the team`s requirement, although he added that Hafeez had performed well in this position in the past also.