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Waqar admits Younis experiment failed

February 19, 2015
CHRISTCHURCH: Members of Pakistan squad travel on a tram for a reception by the Pakistani community here on Wednesday.—Courtesy PCB
CHRISTCHURCH: Members of Pakistan squad travel on a tram for a reception by the Pakistani community here on Wednesday.—Courtesy PCB

CHRISTCHURCH: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis admitted the controversial experiment of using veteran batsman Younis Khan as an opener in the clash against India had failed.

“The experiment to use Younis wasn’t successful,” said Waqar on Wednesday.

“It’s not too tough to drop a senior player but in a tournament like the World Cup you try to use maximum experience.

“When we used Younis at number three or four he was not scoring runs so we used him as an opener but it didn’t work.”

Younis, playing his fourth World Cup, has managed just 73 runs in seven matches with a highest of 25 since the team’s arrival in New Zealand last month.

Pakistan have opener Nasir Jamshed waiting in the wings and he is likely to replace Younis, who made just six last weekend, if the 37-year-old is dropped for Saturday’s match against the West Indies in Christchurch.

Waqar insisted his team would bounce back in the coming matches.

“We can all see what went wrong,” he said about the India loss.

“We didn’t play well, India played better than us by building partnerships, probably we took more pressure,” he added.

“But we have to realise that it’s just the start and there are more games to play and we will come back in the matches ahead.”

Waqar repeated his team were not amongst the title favourites, a statement which he gave before the departure for New Zealand last month.

Then, such pessimism was greeted with severe criticism from former Pakistan players.

“I think it’s the same, I back that again, I am not saying that we have become favourites. Of course, saying that releases pressure from players when you are not favourites.”

Waqar, who is in his second stint as coach after guiding the team to a semi-final finish in the 2011 World Cup, blamed poor batting for the India loss.

“Unfortunately our batting did not click,” said Waqar.

“A target of 300 runs in Australia and New Zealand is chaseable, this has become the norm, a par total, and we have to chase down 300 in games ahead,” he maintained.

Pakistan desperately need a win against the West Indies to keep up their chances of a quarter-final place.

“We know the importance of the game so we will try to have a positive frame of mind and do well,” said the coach.

Published in Dawn February 19th , 2015

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