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June 27, 2019

Waqar Younis warns team Pakistan against any complacency


Thu, Jun 27, 2019

BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan’s former captain Waqar Younis has warned the team Pakistan against any complacency as team is now back on track in the tournament.

Pakistan have defeated South Africa and New Zealand in their back to back World Cup games and are now scheduled to take on Afghanistan in Leeds on Saturday and Bangladesh at Lord’s on July 5th.

Waqar feels that the two wins have brought Pakistan back in the tournament and momentum is now with the Boys in Green. He, however, reminded them not to be complacent.

“The danger is now that complacency starts to creep in. After beating South Africa and then unbeaten New Zealand, it would be easy to get carried away. They cannot allow that to happen, they need to focus on the next game against Afghanistan and make sure they win,” Waqar wrote in his column for ICC.

The former head coach added that Pakistan cannot worry about other results. “If Pakistan beat Afghanistan and Bangladesh, they will have done their job, hopefully it will be enough to reach the semi-finals,” he added.

Waqar said that two back to back wins have provided Pakistan the much needed momentum, Australia’s win over England has also increased Pakistan’s hopes.

“That result gave Pakistan some hope. They knew that if they beat New Zealand they could increase the pressure on England and give themselves a real chance of making the semi-finals,” he highlighted.

The former captain also expressed his views on similarities between Pakistan’s performance in this World Cup with Pakistan’s performance in 1992 World Cup.

Waqar wrote that it is becoming impossible to ignore the parallels with 1992.

“The similarities are freaky and even though the players won’t have been thinking about it, there is no way they can put it out of their minds altogether.”

“It is moving in the direction that they might qualify and if it does, that would be something very special if they could win the World Cup. But of course, the players can’t focus on that at all,” he expressed.

The former fast bowler who missed the 1992’s cricket pinnacle said that it was very emotional for him.

“Being part of the team initially and then breaking my back just before the tournament and having to leave the team to go back home. It was heartbreaking, especially when we won. I was over the moon though and I still remember every second when the team came back from Australia, it was wonderful,” Waqar recalled with hope that something similar happens again.

Talking about Pakistan’s win against New Zealand at Edgbaston on Wednesday, Waqar praised young Shaheen Shah Afridi, saying that the more cricket he plays, the better he gets.

“He got his lines right, he was disciplined, he swung the ball and he picked up wickets. That was what set the game up for Pakistan and was great to see,” Waqar pointed out.

“He is still learning the art so he will make mistakes and Pakistan have to be prepared for that. So far he’s only really played T20 and a few Tests and in the game against Australia I thought he looked a little lost. He wasn’t sure what line or length to bowl. Then against South Africa he got a wicket and seemed to gain some confidence,” he concluded adding that the more Shaheen plays, the better he will be because of his age and hope that he will deliver in the coming games.