Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf in action during the Group ‘A’ match against Canada at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium.—AFP
Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf in action during the Group ‘A’ match against Canada at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium.—AFP

NEW YORK: Asserting that the team is trying to reduce the mistakes that led to back-to-back narrow-margin defeats at the hands of the United States and India, Pakistan fast bowler Haris Rauf says that the focus is now on winning the match against Ireland.

“We played cricket well as a team. Obviously, you make mistakes and see those mistakes and then we try to reduce the mistakes we have made. We believe in ourselves, and will try to play good cricket in the future,” Haris said while responding to a question during his media talk, after Pakistan’s seven-wicket triumph against Canada in New York, on the reasons behind the Green-shirts’ poor show in the first two group A games of the tournament.

On Pakistan’s chances to advance in the ongoing event which now depend other than their game against Ireland on other results as well, the fast bowler said the main focus was on winning.

“Winning is so important. You have to set the tone in any tournament, we won today [against Canada], our focus is on our games, and hopefully we win the next match. And then whatever happens, if we qualify, then God willing we will qualify and play good cricket in the future,” he said.

Responding to the question regarding the reasons behind Pakistan’s poor show in the first two group games, Haris said Answering a question on the team’s mental posture, which was dented after losing against the US and India, after the comfortable win against Canada, the pacer said a victory always helped boost confidence.

“Obviously, today’s win gives us a lot of confidence, the morale goes up and you back each other a lot to reduce the mistakes,” he said.

On his form after returning from injury, the bowler said, “I have come back after injury and will try to give the same performances that I have given in the past for Pakistan.

“I had a lot of belief in myself and regretted the mistakes I made. I learnt a lot from them, improved my bowling and [with this] you get hungry to perform.”

Replying to a query on his below-par show as a lower-order batter in the ongoing World Cup, Haris said that it was tough batting in New York.

“The conditions in New York are not easy for batting. [Still] as a bowling unit, we have tried to keep the totals on the lower side so that we can chase them easily.”

Commenting on reaching the 100-wicket mark in T20 Internationals on Tuesday, Haris said the team’s cause was far more important “I don’t have any goal [for myself]. I can take 200-300 wickets, but I don’t think there is anything bigger than taking even one wicket for Pakistan,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2024

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