Struggling Hasan will overcome poor form - Mahmood

By Patric Ridge 26 June 2019 158
Struggling Hasan will overcome poor form - Mahmood

Azhar Mahmood has backed Hasan Ali to recover his form heading into Pakistan's crunch Cricket World Cup clash with New Zealand.

A 49-run triumph over South Africa on Sunday has given Pakistan hope of progressing into the last four, while victory for the Black Caps at Edgbaston will guarantee their place in the semi-finals.

Pakistan's win over South Africa came in spite of Hasan's absence, with the medium-fast bowler dropped following an expensive 1-84 in the heavy defeat to India on June 16.

Hasan – named player of the series in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy – has struggled throughout his four appearances at the tournament, taking just two wickets.

But Pakistan bowling coach Mahmood has no doubt the 24-year-old can raise his level as the group stage nears its conclusion.

"I think everyone in cricket, whether you're a batsman or a bowler, you have bad form," Mahmood told a news conference.

"I think he's having a bad form. He's low on his confidence. He's got self-doubt about his own ability.

"He's running in and working hard on and off the field. You can see that. But it's just a matter of getting two or three wickets, and he'll be back."

New Zealand have won all five of the completed games they have taken part in so far, while their match against India at Trent Bridge was abandoned.

And Mahmood has urged Pakistan to focus on their own strengths, rather than those of the Black Caps.

"They are a quality side," he added. "They've got matchwinners on their side.

"So, it's crucial for us to take a wicket with the new ball. And when we bat, we need to get runs up front.

"Our top three is the most important for us. If we do the basics right, it's just about us, not about them. We need to do our things right."

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