Dubai, Sep 10 (IANS) Pakistan leg-spin all-rounder Shadab Khan insists that winning against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final and claiming the trophy is the real deal for his team. The final of Asia Cup 2022, to be held at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday, will see Pakistan and Sri Lanka face each other for the fourth time in the final of the multi-nation event.
While Pakistan have won three and lost two matches in the tournament so far, Sri Lanka have been on the winning side four times while losing just once. In the overall head-to-head equation in Asia Cup, Sri Lanka have won 11 matches while Pakistan have prevailed over them just five times. A win on Sunday will take Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup titles from five to six, while for Pakistan, it will increase from two to three.
“We are a great team, but in order to become a champion side, we need to win this tournament and other high-profile series. I have said before that champion teams handle pressure well and prevail in clutch moments, and this is what we will aim for on the Sunday Finale. Winning against Sri Lanka and claiming the Asia Cup title is the real deal for us!” said Shadab on the official website of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
The momentum is firmly with Sri Lanka as they have emerged victorious in four of their last five contested T20Is against Pakistan. Shadab feels that Pakistan have done well to reach the final despite losing their opening match of the tournament to India by five wickets and complemented his team-mates for playing crucial roles in getting crucial wins in the tournament despite losing players like Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr and Shahnawaz Dahani before and during the tournament.
“When we lost the first match of the tournament against India, we were confident we will rise. And rise we did. Rizwan played exceptionally well against Hong Kong, followed by a comprehensive bowling display that helped us earn a confidence-boosting win. Nawaz demonstrated great all-round skills against India in the Super Four match, and although, I was the player of the match against Afghanistan, those two sixes by Naseem Shah will be eternally remembered!”
“Amidst Shaheen’s absence and some of o’r batters’ problems in searching for form, there was a general perception that Pakistan might get knocked out of the tournament at any stage. But the essence of cricket is based on teamwork and not individualism.”
“We have also observed that after the Men”s T20 World Cup 2021, various players from our team have stepped up and shown the determination to unleash their talents, making it a well-known fact that all the 11 players who take the field are match-winners.”
Shadab went on to appreciate the leadership of prolific batter Babar Azam though he himself has been short of runs in the tournament. “Babar Azam has taught us a lot, and besides the excellent team culture he has developed, I think the best facet of his leadership is the fact that he has inculcated the never give up attitude among us. Even if we find ourselves in hopeless situations, we are fully charged to fight till the last ball.”
Shadab signed off by saying that they would like to bring smiles to the faces of people badly affected by devastating floods in Pakistan by winning the Asia Cup on Sunday. “Due to the unprecedented weather conditions, one-third of Pakistan is currently underwater.”
“Since we’re away from our beloved homeland, watching the devastating calamity from afar makes it even more painful for us. We would like to win this tournament to bring lively smiles back on the faces of the people affected by the flood.”