Pakistan celebratrion
Muhammad Hasnain of Pakistan celebrates after taking the wicket of Kusal Mendis of Sri Lanka during DP World Asia Cup Super 4 match 2022 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Pakistan off-spin great Saqlain Mushtaq is not giving too much importance to toss as teams electing to bat second have an advantage and have been winning at the DP World Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium.

“If you want to become a champion you don’t actually even think or talk about toss. If you want to be champion, you have to be champion in first innings and second innings as well. We never talk like that and that is our approach. We lost today (batting first), but that’s part of the game,” said the Pakistan head coach at a press conference after losing to Sri Lanka in the final Super 4 match at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday.

Moving in the right direction

The coach is not reading too much into the final game and says, “Things are moving in the right direction and we are confident and hopeful for a good result.”

Saqlain feels Sri Lanka will go into the final high on confidence, but is confident about Pakistan’s chances in the final. “Sri Lanka will take confidence and we will take our learning and passion,” Saqlain added.

The coach also heaped praise on Mohammad Rizwan’s contributions to the team and backed skipper Babar Azam, saying the captain is in good touch despite not getting big runs.

“We have lot of faith in him (Rizwan) and he is a great influence in the dressing room and on the ground. We are confident of the energy he brings in and we are positive towards Rizwan,” he said.

Wary of Pakistan comeback

Talking about Azam, he said, “Someone with a keen eye for cricket will realise that he is not out of form, but just plain unlucky. He is a class player and nothing is bad with his form; he is just unlucky. Today’s 30 runs (from Babar) will definitely boost the team.”

Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka is elated after posting their fourth straight win in this edition of the Asia Cup after a disastrous start, losing the opener against Afghanistan. Still, the Sri Lankan skipper is wary of a Pakistan comeback.

“The confidence we have is massive after four consecutive wins, but we still don’t take Pakistan lightly in the final. We know they are a very good side and have enough good players in their side to come back strongly and we should be ready for that,” he said. “I didn’t feel any weakness in their side, they played good cricket.”

Even Shanaka is not worried about the toss and says his team is ready for both. “Toss is a very important factor here, but still, our batters are very good in batting first and second. We used the stats to chase in all the games here, but if we lose the toss, we are ready to bat first,” he said.