This former star has high hopes from Pakistan at World Cup

Lahore, May 23: The Pakistan cricket team may have suffered an all mighty thrashing at the hands of England just before the upcoming ODI World Cup.

But former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi still insists that he has high hopes from  the players.

The former star all-rounder feels that bowling has always been Pakistan's strength and the return of fast bowlers Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir has given the unit much-needed balance.

"We did quite a few experiments with the side. We rested the seniors in the series against Australia, giving chance to youngsters," Afridi said in a video posted by the Pakistan Cricket Board on its twitter account.

"Our bowling struggled before the World Cup I think because they lacked experience there. Now Wahab Riaz, (leg-spinner) Shadab Khan and Mohammad Amir are back and it's a well-balanced team. We should not have any excuse now."

Afridi said that the best part about this Pakistan team was that the batting -- which has always been an area of concern -- has looked good this time round.

"I think this team has the right combination. The best thing is (that) batting used to be a constant worry for us but our batsmen are now in good form," he explained.

But Afridi warned that in a tournament like the World Cup, it will be very important to start well and gain momentum early into the event.

"It's very important to win the first couple of matches to build a momentum ... Our youngsters are capable of beating any team in the world.

"I see Pakistan as one of the teams in the semi-finals and, God willing, I'm confident they'll play the final too. Pressure is inevitable in international cricket. It tests a player and his mental strength. But World Cup is also a great opportunity to become a hero with the whole world looking at you."

News24 Bureau

Photo: Google Images