Birmingham, Pakistani left-arm spinner Imad Wasim has asserted that if his side had shown the kind of intensity that they exhibited in their Champions Trophy match against South Africa in the campaign opener against India as well, then the result could have been quite different.
After being walloped by arch-rivals India by 124 runs in a match where they were below par in all aspects of the game, Pakistan came roaring back to form in the match against South Africa.
They put in a vastly improved fielding effort while their bowling — both pacers and spinners — put the brakes on the South African scoring while regularly picking up wickets.
Although the match was eventually abandoned due to heavy rain, Pakistan were declared the winner according to the Duckworth-Lewis system.
“I’ve said this before also, we can do anything on any day. All we need to change is to put up this sort of performance every time. Whether we win or lose is separate. If we had played with such intensity against India, we could have won or lost, but you can see the difference,” Imad Wasim said in an interview with the official website of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“The way the boys bowled and fielded, it was fantastic to see our lads play like that. We are a different unit if we play with this intensity, if we don’t relax or don’t become lazy.”
Wednesday’s match also marked the first time in ODIs that South Africa’s captain and star batsman AB De Villiers was dismissed for a golden duck. The bowler who dismissed De Villiers was none other than Imad Wasim.
“Oh, it happens in cricket. Sometimes you get hit, sometimes the other guy gets out. It’s just cricket. You should not be carried away or feel too low by this. He hit a shot and got out, so I think I’m really lucky,” Wasim said.
“He is such a big player. I see it from the team’s point of view. If AB de Villiers gets out early, and you know what he can do if he stays for a long time, so we were just very happy that he got out. It didn’t matter that he got out on zero or one,” he added.
The 28-year-old asserted that the flat and lazy approach which was seen in the match against India won’t be repeated in their last group game against Sri Lanka.
The clash with Sri Lanka is a must win affair for both teams as the winner will enter the semi-finals.
“There is no chance of that. When you win, the morale that is there is different. If we think too much about having beaten South Africa we might be flat again, but we are aware that it’s a do or die match for us. We’ll treat it like a knockout match and not worry about the result,” Wasim asserted.
“Hopefully, Pakistan and the world will get to see a great performance,” he added.