Hafeez wants Pakistan team to enjoy India series

Aim as captain to motivate players not to bow to pressure

Pakistan captain Muhammad Hafeez refusing to buckle under pressure of playing away from home in the lion's den against arch rivals India.

The eagerly awaited bilateral series begins with a Twenty20 international at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Tuesday.

Hafeez claims he is not wary of his experienced Indian counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his main aim as skipper would be to motivate his team to deflect the pressure.

"Dhoni is far more experienced captain than me and Misbah-ul Haq. But having said that every captain has to face challenges. My aim will be to see that my side plays without any pressure and express themselves as much they can," he told reporters after a long practice session on Sunday, according to The Nation.

Apart from two Twenty20 internationals, India and Pakistan will also play three ODIs in the bilateral series.

Hafeez said Pakistan is here to play good cricket and winning and losing doesn't make any difference to his side.

"We wish cricket returns to Pakistan soon and some of our youngsters get a chance to play in front of home crowd," he said.

He also rued the fact that cricket playing nations refusal to tour the strife-torn country due to security reasons has deprived Pakistan from hosting any international matches for the last three years.

He was proud of his team's sterling performances outside the country. 

Noting that the relations between the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) and Pakistan Cricket Board is fast improving, Hafeez felt that both the nations should play more for the betterment of the game.

Asked about the kind of craze back home for the upcoming series against arch-rivals India, Hafeez said the expectations were very high, especially when both the countries hate to lose against each other.

"We have come here to play good cricket and enjoy our game," he said.

Hafeez said Pakistan has no issues with the security arrangements in India and they love touring the country.

"This will remain in this series as well," he added.

On veteran Shahid Afridi's chances of making a comeback into Pakistan's ODI squad, Hafeez said the two Twenty20 games against India will be vital for the dashing batsman.

"Afridi is a tough guy and I am sure he will wriggle out of the crisis. He is taking it positively and as a challenge. His preparation for the Twenty20 matches is excellent," he said.


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