We need to stop India from scoring big: Malik

Pakistan captain Shaoib Malik said the key to success in their crucial Asia Cup clash against India on Thursday would be to restrict them early.

updated: June 28, 2008 09:48 IST
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High on confidence after beating the same rivals in Bangladesh tri-series final, Pakistan captain Shaoib Malik on Wednesday said the key to success in their crucial Asia Cup clash against India on Thursday would be to restrict the strong visting batting line-up from scoring runs.

"We are confident of securing a victory tomorrow which will carry us through to the final. The key is to restrict the Indian batsmen from scoring big runs," Malik said.

India is the best team in the tournament so if we beat them it would be good for our chances of winning the Asia Cup," he added.

Malik, however, warned his teammates against any complacency creeping into their games and said despite beating India in Bangladesh tri-series final, Thursday would be a new start.

(Mahendra Singh) Dhoni is a shrewd captain which is why he has also pointed out that every match is a new day in cricket. You can't look back all the time.

It will be the first game for India on Pakistani soil since early 2006 and oragnisers are expecting a packed crowd for the match.

He said playing regularly with India had helped the players of both sides but an Indo-Pak game always had its special charm.

Coach Geoff Lawson stressed on carrying on the winning momentum after their 155-run victory over Hong Kong in their opening match.

Playing India is always important but what is more important is the rest of the tournament and the next week. Because we need to carry our momentum forward, Lawson said.

He was happy that Pakistan didn't get an easy game against Hong Kong in their first outing in the tournament.

It was a good workout for us and it also gave two of our young players, Fawad Alam and Sohail Tanvir the chance to display their batting potential. It gives us hope that these two can bat in similar fashion in difficult times and bail us out, he said.

The coach did not foresee any changes in the team that beat Hong Kong.

That is our strongest eleven and I dont think we will make changes against India. The side has balance.

The Aussie praised the performance of Sohail Tanvir who scored 59 and took two wickets against Hong Kong in challenging circumstances.

This guy can bat he has four first class hundreds and I would like to see him take more responsibility with the bat and move up, Lawson stated.

Pakistani players with the exception of Younis Khan and Salman Butt took a day off from nets and indulged in swimming pool exercises.

Younis and Butt opted for some batting practice but in a big tournament like this you dont need to practice all the time. You just need to be prepared mentally for the crunch situations, Lawson said.