Geelong: UAE head coach Robin Singh said he is aware that his team needs to play a “solid” game of cricket to beat Sri Lanka in tomorrow’s must-win Group A match in the first round of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and be in the reckoning to qualify for the Super 12 stage of the tournament.
After making 111/8 with the bat in their tournament opener against the Netherlands at Kardinia Park on Sunday, UAE made a gutsy late fightback with the ball, thanks to pacer Junaid Siddique’s 3/24. But that wasn’t sufficient for the UAE to avoid a three-wicket loss with a ball to spare.
“Any opposition that we play, you will try to attack their weaknesses. At the end of the day, it’s not just about them losing the game. I think for us it’s about us going and playing a really good game of cricket. We have to play a solid game of cricket to beat Sri Lanka.”
“They’re a top side who just won (the) Asia Cup. But saying that they’re in a situation where probably they’re expected to win, in our case we are expected to go out there and give them a fight, but for us it’s about winning as well,” said Singh in the pre-match press conference.
Singh further pointed out that Sri Lanka losing by 55 runs to Namibia in the T20 World Cup opener showed that the current Asia Cup champions can be defeated, something which can be an added motivation for the UAE to raise their level of cricket tomorrow.
“I think we don’t really have a choice. These are games that we look forward to playing. It’s the first time we’re playing Sri Lanka probably after a long time. I think in these tournaments you have to see the opportunity. Of course, UAE has played in World Cups before.”
“But I think this is a fresh tournament, different conditions, different positions, different environments. It’s one of those games where we need to win, just like Sri Lanka. I think we have to understand that it’s just another game. They have been beaten by Namibia, and they can be beaten.”
In the run-up to the T20 World Cup, UAE made a surprising captaincy change in August when they replaced veteran pacer Ahmed Raza with batter CP Rizwan. Raza had been at the helm when the UAE successfully qualified for the ongoing T20 World Cup, but was surprisingly replaced by Rizwan.
Asked about the captaincy change made two months ago, Singh revealed the decision was made on the theory that Raza was no longer a guaranteed starter in the playing eleven. “I think we first need to see who can make the team. So I don’t think this is the right forum for that in my opinion.”
“In saying that, I think it’s important to understand that when we change a captain, we change for a reason, and it’s a bold decision that has been taken. We wanted someone who we think can actually be starting in the game.”