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I thrive under pressure: Younis Khan

Written by: Staff

Mohali, Oct 24 (UNI) Pakistan skipper Younis Khan today asserted that his team does well when the chips are down and added ''I thrive under pressure.'' Talking to media persons here this afternoon on the eve of his team's match against New Zealand in the ICC Champions Trophy, Younis Khan said he was optimistic about another good showing by his players.

''We don't underestimate any team, no team is easy to beat, West Indies surprised Australia, hence it will be wrong on our part to take New Zealand lightly,'' he said.

''In the absence of Shoiab and Asif, our other bowlers did perform very well against Sri Lanka and I am hopeful they will perform well again tomorrow.'' About New Zealand's pacers especially Shane Bond on the track which is likely to help the fast bowlers, Younis said, ''If you talk about Bond, Umar Gul can also be equally effective. It is the same for everyone.'' Asked if his team was under any pressure, the Pakistan skipper said, ''There is no pressure on the team. We don't want to leave it to other teams (to qualify). We will aim to win both remaining matches. We just want to enjoy our game. If we we do that I have no doubt we will reach the semifinal.'' He said though this time not many Pakistanis would come to watch the match here but he was banking upon the Indians to cheer for the team from across the border.

''I enjoy playing in India.It is almost like Pakistan. We enjoyed on the last tour. I expect the Indians to cheer for us.'' Asked if he has set any personal goals or targets, the skipper said, ''I do not set any targets or goals. For me tomorrow's match is important. I only want my team to be happy and play good cricket.

Whether we win or lose. We should fight whether we score 150 or 500, whether we chase 150 or 500. We should play with passion. My focus will be To make sure there is no panic in my team till the end.'' He made light of the issue of ''Islamisation'' of Pakistan Cricket team saying, ''I don't know what is this controversy or issue, We are all Muslims. Religion is not an issue. There are no players from other religion.'' ''Is that an issue with your team, even if Danish Kanaria(the only Hindu player in Pakistan test team) had been here still there would not have been any issue. If religion is not an issue with Indian team how can it be with us though the fact remains, we are all Muslims.'' Younis not only supported but justified his players's action of demanding money for giving interviews of newspapers saying, ''I think you should pay money. We are all professionals. You (media persons) also get paid for your work. We are under contract. You just pull out anybody and say give interview. How can I do that? We need permission. You people approach directly, that is not correct.

You should come through the manager or coach.'' ''If you are interviewing us, you are cashing in on that. So our asking for money is not a bad thing,'' he said.

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