India, Afghanistan are same for me: Imamul Haq

LONDON (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan opener Imamul Haq has stressed that preparations for the game against arch-rivals India are not different from the game against Afghanistan.

While talking to Geo News in Taunton, Imam was upbeat and looking forward to the clash against India in the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.

“For me all teams are equal, India Pakistan match is bigger match for the world but for me to prepare for India’s game is not different from preparing for Afghanistan’s game because all the teams in the world cup are top level teams,” he said. The 23-year-old is also excited with the prospect of facing a quality bowler like Mitchell Starc in the World Cup game against Australia at Taunton on June 12.

“Starc isn’t threat. In fact I am excited to face him. Same was said about Archer and Woods. I have played Rabada in more difficult conditions. You can’t say a bowler is threatening. I try to prepare according to my strength instead of bowlers’ strength,” he said.

Imam believes the One-day International (ODI) series loss to Australia in UAE will have no bearing on the result of their clash against the Finch-led side in the mega event.

“Loss to Australia in the ODI series is not on our mind, we have good morale and players are highly confident. We have been preparing for the World cup. It is all about self belief, the results of Australia series won’t have any impact on this match and it will be a new game,” he said.

“You need to beat top teams if you want to play World Cup final. 2 points against SL were important. If we want to play world cup final, we will have to beat Australia and other bigger teams. It also boosts your morale,” he added. Pakistan will meet Australia on June 12, in Taunton, while they will face India on June 16 in Manchester.