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Consider Bangladesh as Australia: Afridi to team

cricket Updated: May 01, 2010 00:28 IST
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Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has told his reigning champions to take Bangladesh as seriously as if they were Australia when they begin the defence of their World Twenty20 title.

Pakistan face their Asian rivals at the Beausejour ground in Gros Islet on Saturday before returning to the same venue 24 hours later to wrap up their Group A campaign against Australia.

With the top two in each of the four groups going through to the second round, both Pakistan and Australia are expected to brush aside Bangladesh.

However, Afridi told the International Cricket Council (ICC) podcast on Thursday: "Playing in this cricket, anything can happen. It's about what happens on the day.

"I want to see the same body language whether we are playing Bangladesh or Australia."

All-rounder Afridi, a hard-hitting batsman and leg-spinner, is also Pakistan's leading player at this tournament.

He was thrust into the leadership after a series of suspensions imposed following a winless tour of Australia that have cost Pakistan the services of former captains Mohammad Yousuf, Younus Khan.

And it was in Australia where Afridi, after chewing on a white cricket ball, received a two-match Twenty20 ban for ball tampering. However, the discipline of captaincy may be having an effect. "I think as the defending champion, there is some pressure on me."

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