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Tuesday Jun 25 2019

Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood hopes New Zealand's bad day is tomorrow

BIRMINGHAM: They say there’s always a bad day and Pakistan’s bowling coach Azhar Mahmood hopes New Zealand, who remain unbeaten, would have theirs "tomorrow" (Wednesday) when they face Pakistan in the World Cup game at Edgbaston.

New Zealand, with five wins in six games and one game being washed out, are yet to be beaten in the World Cup. Pakistan, on the other hand, have won two of their six games and, in a must-win situation, should emerge the victors against New Zealand to stay relevant in the series.

“There’s always a bad day" for cricket teams, Mahmood said with a smile. They "do have one bad day after a streak of wins and I just hope it is theirs [New Zealand's] tomorrow".

“Anyway, we will have to be at our best … we must give our 100% in all three departments of the game,” the former all-rounder stated.

The bowling coach added that things are not really different as compared to 1992 and Pakistan team would play each game like their last. The team has played New Zealand enough times and knows about their strength and weaknesses, he added.

“Everyone is playing their part; there’s input from everyone, including our fielding coach from New Zealand, Grant Bradburn,” the bowling coach said.

In response to a question, Mahmood said Pakistan are very much alive in the tournament and they would try to give their best by winning all the remaining games.

“Top three needs to play an important role. If they can score big, then we will be in a position to beat any team.

"But I repeat that we need to be at best in all three departments of the game,” he added, expressing hope that Hasan Ali would return to form soon and that he just needed a good day to regain the momentum.

“If you look at Aamir, he was also struggling but this tournament has become his comeback event. He has regained his confidence.

"I hope Hasan [Ali] returns to the form soon as well,” he said.

Mahmood hinted that Pakistan would go with an unchanged XI on Wednesday against New Zealand. He also shared his views on the negativity the cricket team had faced before its win against the Kiwis on Sunday and noted that sometimes negativity makes people angry.

“One should be positive, at least for a change. We to be negative all the time.

"Sometimes, with so much negativity around, one may think to swallow poison,” Mahmood said, laughing, as he concluded the press conference.

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