Zaheer Abbas, Saleem Yousuf back Pakistan to win World T20

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Former Pakistani Test players Zaheer Abbas and Saleem Yousuf have backed Younis Khan and his team to win the World Twenty20 in England.

Updated: June 17, 2009 16:22 IST
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Former Pakistani Test players Zaheer Abbas and Saleem Yousuf have backed Younis Khan and his team to win the ICC World Twenty20 title in England.

"I think the Pakistani players have surprised everyone with their performances after a slow start in the tournament. If they retain their momentum they can go on to win the Cup," former Test captain Zaheer Abbas said.

Zaheer, who had criticised the performance of the team in the early part of the ICC World Twenty20, said the batsmen must support the bowlers if they were to win the title.

"Our bowling has been superb so far and is one of the reasons we have made it to the semifinals. But our batsmen need to give more runs for the bowlers to defend against a strong side like South Africa (in the semifinal)," he said. Zaheer said that although Twenty20 cricket was very unpredictable, it was becoming obvious in the ongoing tournament that teams were learning to cope with the fast nature and pressures of the format.

"Bowlers are now bowling according to the condition and I think they have been fortunate that the pitches have been slow and turned a bit. That is what allowed Pakistan to progress to the semifinals and that is why India's exit was a surprise," he said.

Saleem Yousuf, a former Test wicketkeeper, also felt that the batsmen needed to score more runs to put pressure on the South Africans.

"So far even against Ireland we managed 159 and I think this is because the pitches are not easy to bat on. But we need to get into a range of 165 plus if we bat first to pressurise the South Africans," he said.

Yousuf said the South Africans were a very clinical and professional outfit and superb in fielding.

"Twice they managed to win low scoring games because of their fielding standards. We don't match up to them normally but when we are playing well we can upset anyone," he said.

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