Shaheen Shah Afridi (2R) takes a selfie along with his teammates after winning the T20 match against India at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. File / AFP
The 2009 champions thumped arch rivals India by 10 wickets in their opening match followed by a nervy five-wicket win over New Zealand, making them well placed for the semi-finals.
"We are playing with the mindset of world champions," Saqlain said on Thursday. "The two wins have given us the confidence and belief to achieve that goal."
Saqlain replaced Misbah-ul Haq, who resigned last month, and is bringing his experience as a spin-bowling consultant for England, Bangladesh and New Zealand in the past.
Saqlin Mushtaq holds the World Cup trophy at Lord's Cricket Stadium. File
Saqlain said his team needed to be wary of a dangerous Afghanistan. "We know Afghanistan is a very good team but our plans are well-placed and we need to execute those plans as we have done in the first two games," he added.
Afghanistan crushed qualifiers Scotland by 130 runs in their first Group 2 game with off-spinner Mujeeb-Ur Rahman taking 5-20 and leggie Rashid Khan 4-9.
Himself a great off-spinner who played 49 Tests and 169 one-day internationals for Pakistan, Saqlain called Afghanistan's spinners "world class."
"Rashid and Mujeeb are quality spinners and have been doing well for their team as well as in the private leagues around the world, but we have plans against them," said Saqlain.
He praised the unity of his players, saying it has helped them achieve good results. "Our theme is 'together we achieve' and it's not 'I did well' or 'he did well,' but it's 'we did well' sort and that has helped us gel well."
Saqlain pointed out that Pakistan have played most of their cricket in recent years in the UAE. "These conditions of the UAE are very familiar for my players and we have been playing home international matches and Pakistan Super League games here and that has, and will, help our players."
Pakistan will play Namibia on Nov.2 and Scotland five days later in the Super 12 stage. But looking farther ahead, Saqlain hopes to meet India again at the World Cup — this time in the final.
"If India comes in the final, then it would be very good for the International Cricket Council, fans around the world and for world cricket," he said. "That will bring the two countries closer. For me, it should be a win for love and defeat for hate."Agence France-Presse
Asif Ali stole the show with a quick-fire 12-ball 27 cameo after Haris Rauf took four for to help Pakistan set up a five-wicket victory against New Zealand in their T20 World Cup match at Sharjah Stadium on Tuesday.
Skipper Babar scored a polished 47-ball-66 for his 24th fifty in Twenty20 internationals, and his fourth in five matches, while Malik smashed an 18-ball 54 not out as Pakistan posted 189-4 in their 20 overs.
After two losses in their first two games, India’s chances of making it to the semi-final have dwindled considerably. They will have to win all their remaining matches, that too with good margin.
"I think young players should see him as a role model as he is still competing with them in domestic events and that shows how mentally strong he has been. "He is looking good and that shows he wants to go on a high."
Team Manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa) will lead the squad alongside Sports Directors Andrej Hauptman (Slo), Simone Pedrazzini (Swi) and Marco Marcato (Ita).
Indian women will play a three ODI series in the captaincy of the Harmanpreet Kaur against Sri Lanka’s 19-member squad, which is being led by Chamari Athapaththu.
A dominant England has swept New Zealand 3-0 in the Test series with an aggressive seven-wicket victory in the third and final Test match on Monday.