Hafeez not wary of experienced Dhoni in upcoming series
Bangalore: Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez is not wary of his experienced Indian counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni and said as a skipper his main aim would be to motivate his team not to buckle under pressure in the limited over series against the hosts which starts here on Monday.
The much-anticipated bilateral series between India and Pakistan starts with the first of the two Twenty20 Internationals at the M Chinnaswamy stadium here.
"Dhoni is far more experienced captain than me and Misbah-ul Haq. But having said that every captain has to face challenges. My aim will be to see that my side plays without any pressure and express themselves as much they can," he told reporters after a long practice session today.
Apart from two Twenty20 Internationals, India and Pakistan will also play three ODIs in the bilateral series.
Hafeez said Pakistan is here to play good cricket and winning and losing doesn`t make any difference to his side.
Hafeez also rued the fact that cricket playing nations refusal to tour the strife-torn country due to security reasons has deprived Pakistan from hosting any international matches for the last three years.
He, however, hoped that cricket will return to Pakistan soon and said he was proud of his team`s sterling performances outside the country.
"We wish cricket returns to Pakistan soon and some of our youngsters get a chance to play in front of home crowd," he said.
Hafeez also said that the relations between the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) and Pakistan Cricket Board is fast improving and felt that both the nations should play more for the betterment of the game.
Asked about the kind of craze back home for the upcoming series against arch-rivals India, Hafeez said the expectations were very high, especially when both the countries hate to lose against each other.
"We have come here to play good cricket and enjoy our game," he said.
Hafeez said the visiting Pakistan team has no issues with the security arrangements in India and they love touring the country.
"This will remain in this series as well," he added.
On veteran Shahid Afridi`s chances of making a comeback into Pakistan`s ODI squad, Hafeez said the two Twenty20 games against India will be vital for the dashing batsman.
"Afridi is a tough guy and I am sure he will wriggle out of the crisis. He is taking it positively and as a challenge. His preparation for the Twenty20 matches is excellent," he said.
Hafeez was out of the Pakistan team from 2007 till September 2010 and the 32-year-old said that period made him more mature as a cricketer.
"I have worked really hard (during that period) and now things have started to work for me. I would try to achieve more for my country," he said.