ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s pride pacer Juanid Khan has said that the team played like a unit to defeat world's best sides in the Champions Trophy final.

Talking to The Nation soon after his arrival at Benazir International Airport, Junaid said: “The team management was in favour of having Wahab Riaz, who generated extra pace and they tried to get different, but unfortunately, we lost that match. Then management and captain along with Shoaib Malik gave me lot of confidence. Aamir was also bowling well and our combination did the trick. The way we performed against South Africa, it was amazing as all the bowlers performed well. We took key wickets at regular intervals, which helped us great deal.”

The pacer said: “After losing first match, we never lost hearts, as the coach, players, captain and especially the seniors bucked up each and every individual and told us all was not lost yet, we can bounce back and beat other teams. It was that self belief and magical conversation, which turned things around and we started winning streak after beating South Africa. After Africa match, my confidence level was sky high and I was bowling with full pace. I was fully aware that I had to spearhead bowling alongside Aamir and had to take wickets and also to help Aamir win back his confidence.

“We formed same formidable partnership, which Pakistanis were used to watch in shape of great Wasim and Waqar, and it worked for us. I must say all the bowlers contributed towards achieving the goal of winning big games for the country. In fact, Champions Trophy victory is an Eid gift for Pakistani nation,” he added.

Junaid said off course when he played against South Africa, he was under a bit pressure and wanted to perform well. “Thanks to Allah Almighty, I settled down well, controlled my emotions and after that I never looked back. First Aamir and I made our presence felt and later on, Hasan Ali and even debutant Rumman Raees was up to the mark, who did a fantastic job against England in the semifinals. We were feeling lot of pressure and Aamir was out with injury, things were not looking good, but the way Rumman filled the gap and we never even let Pakistan team feel we were short of our prime bowler.”

When asked about the atmosphere in the camp prior to start of the mega final against India, Junaid replied: “Believe me, we were all pumped up and wanted to take sweet revenge of our losses in the major events. Everybody was so excited and every single player wanted to become a hero by giving out his heart. All of us have targeted every Indian batsman before the final. I wanted to take Kohli wicket, but I am happy Aamir took it while the batsmen also performed well and gave us platform to bowl freely, which we appropriately did.”

“We never thought about winning Champions Trophy , yes we do discuss about winning the title, but nobody gave us even outside chance of winning the title. I will give credit to the PCB and the PSL, who provided the national team fresh and talented players. Fakhar, Shadab, Hassan Ali and Rumman all are the product of the PSL. I am sure national team will get more players through PSL and international cricket will return to Pakistan,” Junaid concluded.