Waqar desperate to shed Pakistan’s ‘unpredictable’ tag



Coach Waqar Younis is desperate to shed the “unpredictable” tag that dogs his Pakistan side ahead of this week’s final two one-day internationals against New Zealand.

Pakistan routed New Zealand by 147 runs in the third day-night international in Sharjah on Sunday two days after losing by four wickets in an unimpressive show in the second match.

With Pakistan leading the five-match series 2-1, Waqar wants consistency in the final two matches in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and Friday.
“We have to remove that tag,” said Waqar on Monday.

“The effort is to develop a good team which can do well abroad,” he added.

Pakistan posted 364-7 in 50 overs — their highest total against New Zealand in all one-day cricket — before dismissing their rivals for 217 in 38.2 overs in the third ODI.

The Pakistan coach described skipper Misbah-ul Haq’s hamstring injury which ruled him out of the last three games as a setback.

“We wanted him to be fit and play in this series but I hope he will be back in three weeks and we have started working on that,” said Waqar.

All-rounder Shahid Afridi replaced Misbah as skipper for the remaining games and celebrated with a fiery 26-ball 55 besides taking three wickets on Sunday.

“When you win, everything looks good and Afridi led the team well but saying it (the win) came because of change in captaincy would be unfair,” said Waqar.

Waqar said the team management was trying to overcome the loss of Mohammad Hafeez as a bowler after his suspension for an illegal action.

“We are trying to develop players who can bowl as well as bat so we will also work on (Ahmed) Shehzad and try to get the best out of him as a bowler. We are trying to get Hafeez cleared before the World Cup so we have all our resources in the mega event,” said Waqar.

Left-handed batsman Haris Sohail has filled in as left-arm spinner, taking three wickets in the past two matches.

Waqar hopes senior batsman Younis Khan will show what he is capable of.

“I think Younis did well in the last match,” said Waqar of Younis who made 35 on Sunday.

“We are looking for someone around whom others can bat. He has an amazing record in Tests and technique but I feel he needs runs to get his confidence back in one-day (games) and I am sure it’s just round the corner.”