Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood has stated that his team can beat any side in the ongoing ICC World Cup if they do the basics right. Pakistan’s next assignment is against resurgent New Zealand which is yet to be defeated in the tournament. New Zealand has been in fine form as they have won five matches out of the six to perch at the top of the points table.

Thus, Pakistan will need to be at the top of their game to beat New Zealand. Pakistan had secured a 49 runs victory against South Africa at Lord’s. Hence, the Men in Green will look to continue their good show going.

New Zealand, Pakistan, Cricket World Cup
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Pakistan will need to win to keep breathing.

Azhar Mahmood believes Pakistan will need quick wickets to put pressure on the Kiwis.

“They are a very strong side and have won all their games. They’ve got match-winners in their side. So, it’s going to be crucial for us to take wickets with the new ball,” on the eve of Pakistan-New Zealand game, Mahmood revealed during a presser.

Similarly, the former Pakistan all-rounder stated that it would be crucial for his team to get to a good partnership up front. Furthermore, it is imperative to get quick runs with the bat against New Zealand.

“And when we bat, we need to get runs up front.  If we can get our discipline right like last game – in batting, bowling and fielding – then we can beat any side. If we do the basics right, it’s just about us, not them,” Mahmood added.

On the other hand, Hassan Ali is not in the best of forms for Pakistan. Ali has struggled to hit the right areas and thus the wickets have dried up for him. However, Azhar Mahmood is confident that Hassan Ali would be back at his best soon.

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“I think everyone in cricket, whether you’re a batsman or bowler, goes through a good and bad form. So he’s low on confidence. But he’s running in, and working hard on and off the field. You can all see that. It’s just a matter of getting wickets, and he’ll be back. The same thing happened with Amir, you know. After the Champions Trophy, he was struggling – but still bowling well,” Mahmood concluded.

Pakistan is in a do or die and they would need to win their remaining three matches to stay in contention for the semi-finals. Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side will take on New Zealand at Edgbaston, Birmingham on 26th June.