How a rational cricket fan would think:
With victories in the warm-up games followed by two wins from two games in the league stages, Pakistan are at their peak entering this tournament. The team needs to mantain its intensity by thoroughly beating a severely weakened and impotent Australian one-day side and go into the semi-final stages with a 100% win record which would be an added boost to their confidence.
How a Pakistani cricket fan SHOULD think:
We have victories in the warm-up games and two wins from two games in the league stages and risk going into the semis UNDEFEATED!
We're so screwed.
AS things stand, we're through to the semis so why tempt fate by being ungrateful and asking for more. Temporarily resting on one's laurels is a severely underappreciated form of leisure. Look at it this way, if the Aussies beat us, Pakistan and Australia go through to the final and India get knocked out completely. How sweet would that be?
More importantly, a loss to Australia ensures we get a defeat out of our system to satisfy the law of averages. Look, we're not capable of having a perfect track record and we need to get a loss out of the way as soon as possible before it occurs at a time when it can hurt us. Our players are at their worst when they are in a comfort zone (except Younis Khan who always tries hard and expects the most from himself no matter whether its a crunch game or dead rubber). Once we lose, we'll be startled out of our complacency and will be less likely to slack off in the semis and the final, since we ARE making the finals.
Imran KIND OF had it right when he said we play at our best when we're cornered tigers. But we need to get cornered first for those fighting instincts to come to the fore. Otherwise we're like a kind of gay tiger who stumbled onto his first kill (which was injured to begin with) and was lucky to get his second since the prey almost turned the tables on him.
If Australia beat us and India beat West Indies by a VERY substantial margin that MAY mean India go through to the semis with us. Thats the tricky part. Because then, if we get to the finals, we might meet India there and I dont think we as a nation can handle that. I know I cant. And I don't envy our chances in beating India twice in a major tournament.
Plus, the Indian cricket team is a more like us than they're given discredit for. If they're doing badly in the early stages of a tournament, they're more likely to win it under the guise of underdogs since they wont have the enormous pressure of expectations their unreasonable country puts on them.
Right now, I can console myself with the fact that we beat India. That'll be all for naught if they come back to win the tournament.
Also, lets hope we meet New Zealand in the semis. A good luck charm if there ever was one. Mark Guptill zindabad. Incidentally, if we're ever stupid enough to declare war against India, we should first first invade New Zealand and shoot a few nukes down there. Whenever we kick kiwi ass, we always go on to do greater things.