Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

Waqar Younis keen to prepare strong pace battery for Pakistan

saddsw Waqar Younis is hired by the PCB as the head coach ahead of the tour to Sri Lanka. (Source: AP)
Press Trust of India | Karachi | Posted: July 21, 2014 8:40 pm

Pakistan’s head coach Waqar Younis has said that he wanted to stop the over dependence on spinners in the national cricket team and prepare a strong pace battery for the future series.

The former captain, who is having a second stint as head coach of the national team, told a news conference in Lahore that he would ensure there was not much dependence on the spinners in the upcoming tour to Sri Lanka while the pace bowlers should also play a big role in the team planning.

Waqar said he had started working personally with the pace bowlers, who are picked up in the national team for the Sri Lanka tour.

“Pakistan has a proud history of fast bowling and I want to nurture and groom the talent that is available now,” he said, adding, “we have good young pace talent and they can be developed.”

Waqar formed a formidable new ball partnership with Wasim Akram. Apart from them, there were other world class pacers such as Fazal Mahmood, Sarfaraz Nawaz, Imran Khan, Shoaib Akhtar, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir.

But in the last two years, the team has developed a strong reliance on the spin bowlers, particularly in Test matches with off spinner Saeed Ajmal and left arm spinner Abdul Rehman doing the bulk of the bowling and sharing wickets.

Making it clear that he or the players had no concerns with the ongoing administrative matters of the Pakistan Cricket Board in the courts, Waqar said their job was to only focus on cricket and produce good results.

“Even in Sri Lanka we will be playing positive cricket and will go into the matches with a mindset to win. Only then can we move forward as a team,” the former fast bowler said.

The coach said he wanted to use the three-Test series before the 2015 ODI World Cup to develop a strong nucleus for the mega event.

“But let us not forget we have these three series and we must try to do well in them. They also matter a lot to us. If we can win, we can go to the World Cup with the right momentum,” Waqar said.

He said he wanted to finalise a nucleus of 15 to 20 players for the World Cup.

Defending PCB’s decision to appoint 10 officials with the touring squad, Waqar pointed out that in a tough Test tour, the team members needed the support staff.

“It will be a tough contest for us since the Sri Lankans are regularly playing Test matches and have just played against England and South Africa, so it will be a challenging task for us to win there,” said Waqar.

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