Pakistan's Imad set to return, India's Rohit seeks focus

Pakistan's Imad Wasim has been passed fit to face India in the T20 World Cup on Sunday (Aamir QURESHI)
Pakistan's Imad Wasim has been passed fit to face India in the T20 World Cup on Sunday (Aamir QURESHI)

Pakistan have been given a much-needed boost ahead of Sunday's clash with India at the T20 World Cup with all-rounder Imad Wasim passed fit to play.

Imad had to sit out Pakistan's opening game -- the humiliating defeat to the USA in Dallas - and had missed the final match of their pre-tournament series with England with what was reported to be a rib injury.

But Pakistan coach Gary Kirsten told the pre-match press conference that they would be able to call on the 35-year-old left-arm spinner.

"He will be available," said the South African, who took over the reigns of the Pakistan team in April.

Kirsten was unable to give any details of Pakistan's likely line-up as he said he was waiting on fitness updates on other players.

But the coach said that whoever took the field would not need any extra-motivation to bounce back from the painful defeat to the USA with a win against Pakistan's arch-rivals.

"It's never nice not winning games of cricket for any player. They're trying their best. It's never nice. I don't think I needed to motivate this team for this game," he said.

"I think the important thing for us is that we operate genuinely as a team. Yes, we need individuals to make good performances, but playing games like this, I think is a real team effort.

"It's a big game, so we're going to treat it as any other game. But certainly, give it our best shot. The team's motivated. Two days ago is forgotten. We can't take it back. It's gone. So, we move on," he said.

The surface at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium has received plenty of criticism for its uneven bounce and India captain Rohit Sharma knows all about it after he was forced to retire hurt after being struck on the arm in the win against Ireland on Wednesday.

But the skipper said it was vital his team kept their focus on the fundamentals and not worry about the wicket or the occasion.

"I think playing good cricket holds the key no matter the opposition. With the pitch, I think you know what to expect from the conditions, so you've got to prepare yourself in a way that you know these types of conditions are there," he said.

"We have spoken about it, about what we need to do on these types of conditions. We have had lengthy chats with individuals about what the game plan can be for the batters and the bowlers as well. You can try to control what is in your control.

"There is a lot of experience in our changing room. So, when you come across conditions like these, I expect everyone to at least try and make good decisions. Again, we are going to approach (it) how we approached the first game. Nothing changes for us. We want to try and tick all the boxes in batting, bowling, and fielding," he said.

Rohit was also wary of reading too much into Pakistan's loss to the Americans, noting that T20 always brings a degree of the unexpected.

"This is the speciality of T20 cricket. Anything can happen anywhere. Last year, in the last World Cup, Pakistan lost to Zimbabwe. But eventually, they played the final. You can't think much about the opposition, about what the opposition's form is. It doesn't take long for the form to come in this format," he said.

"I think this format is a little different from ODI and Test cricket. In that the consistency, the way you play, that matters. But in T20 cricket, I think what's happening on that day matters," he said.

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