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'This is Pakistan's best chance to beat India in World Cup'

Source: PTI
February 10, 2015 19:35 IST
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Virat Kohli congratulates Pakistan's Misbah-ul Haq during a match. Photograph: Getty Images

Pakistan's chief selector Moin Khan believes the national team's much-awaited World Cup game against India will be the best opportunity for them to break their win-less jinx against the arch-rivals in the tournament history. 

Pakistan have lost to India in all the five World Cup outings - in 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003 and the 2011 semifinal. 

"If I look at the World Cup history I think this time we have our best chance to avenge our defeats," Moin told Geo News in Sydney. The former Pakistan captain said his confidence stemmed from the fact that India was "not as strong" as it used to be.

"This Indian team is not what it used to be and our players will try their best to defeat them this time," Moin said.

Pakistan's Mohammad Irfan (centre) celebrates with teammates after taking a wicket. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Moin, who took part in two of the five World Cup matches (1992 and 99), said the chance to create history will spur the players. He pointed out that India was also struggling having faced problems in batting and bowling in Australia in recent months. 

"But when these two teams one can be rest assured the past or recent results will not matter," he added. Moin admitted that the team would miss off-spinner Saeed Ajmal in the World Cup. 

"Obviously he has been a pillar of strength for us in the last few years but I think he took a wise decision to not insist on playing the World Cup after his bowling action was cleared. There is a lot of cricket after the tournament and he should be ready for that." 

"After modifying his bowling action it is difficult to judge right now how well Ajmal is bowling," he said. 

Players of Team India and Team Pakistan. Photograph: BCCI/Twitter and Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Ajmal, whose modified action was cleared by the ICC last week, appeared in a club match in Lahore yesterday. Moin also called on the Pakistani nation to extend full support to the team. 

"These are difficult times but the team needs their support and unless the people support us it is difficult to get positive results," he stated.

"The players have been told each one of them has to give his 100 percent," he said. Moin said the coaching staff was doing its best to create the right mindset. 

"I know some players are disappointed at missing out on the World Cup but even after the mega-event they can come back with strong performances. I hope that Nasir Jamshed justifies the confidence we have shown in him so far," he said. 

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