Nothing is impossible, you have to win for your country, shouted Pakistan coach Waqar Younis as his team went through the paces at the PCA Stadium here on Sunday.Charging up his team for the semi-final against India was not necessary as every member of the Pakistan side knew about the magnitude of the match, but it still drove home the point.The intensity shown by the Pakistan team during the fielding and net sessions made it clear that they aren’t going to back down and are eager to register their first win over India in a World Cup game.It was interesting to see veteran batsman Younis Khan explaining the mercurial Umar Akmal how to decipher pace spearhead Zaheer Khan’s mystery slower ball that the Indian pacer has used to devastating effect, removing the likes of Mike Hussey, Paul Collingwood and Devon Smith.Simulating the ‘flick’ that Zaheer uses, Younis tried to show the youngster what to watch out for, to which Umar simply said:”Mar dunga (I will hit it)”. In between all the commotion, all eyes were on paceman Shoaib Akhtar (in pic below). However, the prospect of watching the last Sachin-Shoaib battle has begun to fade with the fast bowler out of form and out of favour in the tournament which he has announced as his last.He didn’t seem hundred per cent fit during training and has struggled to get through the overs he has bowled so far in the competition.It seem unlikely that Pakistan would risk him against India, given that left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz is bowling well enough and offers variety to the attack which is led by Umar Gul.advertisementBut middleorder batsman Misbah-ul-Haq said that Shoaib’s role in the side was still important and that he could be a trump card in the side, if picked.”Shoaib is a class bowler. He has performed for Pakistan on a number of occasions and the team trusts him. If he gets to play, it could give us an edge,” he said after practice on Sunday.If not anything else, facing the pacer in the nets is great preparation for a match, felt Misbah. He, however, refused to make it clear if Shoaib was likely to play on Wednesday.The one player about whom there is no uncertainty is skipper Shahid Afridi. He has led the team admirably and has emerged as the leading wicket-taker of the competition.For Misbah, Afridi has been an inspiration for the team and a crucial factor in their successful run.”The important thing has been his aggression. He has led by an example and is performing really well. He is picking wickets at the right time and that really helps the team when the captain is performing. We all are standing behind Afridi.”He listens to the players, especially the senior players and the coaches. We have good co-ordination and that’s why everything is going well.”Misbah was unflustered when asked if this was a good opportunity to erase the memories of the 2007 World T20 final where his scoop shot, with six runs and three balls left, was caught by Sreesanth that gave India the title.”Every game is a new game and it’s not because of that game that this is special. It’s a World Cup semi-final and I want to play well.”The pressure isn’t on Pakistan this time and they will look to put it across their traditional rivals and also give a message to world cricket which has almost shunned them for some time now. A win here will go a long way in restoring the credibility of the team and the players, which took a hit last year.
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