Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi feels his team cannot afford to panic as they gear up to face New Zealand in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016 on 22 March, Tuesday at Mohali. The Men in Green come into this game, knowing that only a win will do as a loss could spell the end of their journey in the competition.
The Pakistan team as in all ICC World Cup campaigns have remained unpredictable, playing well one day and failing on another. The team has been heavily criticized for their performances by both fans and experts back home, especially Afridi who found himself in the midst of a storm for his "love India" comment.
Speaking to the media, Afridi said, "If you create a panic situation everything becomes difficult to sort out. The straightforward plan has to be to stick to basics. You can't rely on miracles, it doesn't work that way. We need to cut down on our mistakes, if you keep repeating mistakes, it becomes difficult", as quoted by Stuff. "It's not like we are making huge mistakes, just small mistakes here and there. We are batting well, bowling well, but cricket matches are won by sides that make fewer mistakes."
"I am keeping myself away from Twitter, Facebook, nor am I following any other media. I have distanced myself from everything. Whatever is happening there, let it happen."
"All I know is, I am here, my team is here. Whatever happens, what people are saying back home, we will see about that later. Now it is time to perform, and only that is in our hands."
"Only those who love you get angry at you. What we need to do is perform, and not make too much of their reaction because they love us in equal measure."
In contrast their opponents for Tuesday, New Zealand, are flying high after their brilliant start to the ICC T20 World Cup 2016. The Black Caps have won both their games and are currently on top of the table in Group 2 with four points, needing only one win from their final two games to qualify for the semi-final.