Pak team balanced enough to defend T20 World Cup title: Afridi

Lahore: Pakistan Twenty20 skipper Shahid Afridi believes the national team is balanced enough to defend their Twenty20 World Cup title in the West Indies, despite the absence of their most experienced fast bowler, Umar Gul.

Gul, Pakistan`s leading wicket-taker in the previous two editions of the Twenty20 World Cup, has been ruled out the tournament after he hurt his shoulder during a training camp at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore earlier this month.

"Umar is an expert of reverse swing. He could have been lethal on the slow pitches in the West Indies, but all the other available players are also equally good and eager to perform in the mega event," The Dawn quoted Afridi, as saying.

He believes that spinners would be Pakistan team`s major weapon, and would play a crucial role on the slow pitches.

"Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Hafeez and Abdul Rehman are all talented spinners and can play the role of match-winner against any team," Afridi said.

He further admitted that being the defending champions, Pakistan would be under pressure to perform well and win, but said: "We have to learn to handle that kind of pressure to give hundred per cent."