In recent times, very rarely has the Pakistan cricket team been welcomed home by a shower of rose petals. It was different on Monday. When the team flew into Lahore from Dhaka, the Asia Cup runners-up received a very warm welcome. So what if Misbah-ul-Haq's men did not win the title, they had defeated arch-rivals India and that was reason enough to call for a celebration.
India and Pakistan run into each other in less than two weeks' time as the main round of the Twenty20 World Cup starts in Bangladesh on March 21. Misbah has already started playing mind games, saying the pulsating one-wicket win against India in a group match at Mirpur on March 2 is tonic enough to look former T20 world champions India in the eye. (Imran Khan, Shoaib Akhtar praise Pakistan for beating India)
The clash against India, Misbah said, put Pakistan in the right frame of mind for the world Twenty20. "Winning against India was important because people have a lot of expectations and have lots of interest in it. With such performances, the morale of the team is very good. In this condition, we definitely have a chance (at the World T20)."