Waqar tells Pakistan openers to shape up

By AFP
Published: March 5, 2011

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis warns under-performing opening pair to start delivering World Cup runs. PHOTO: AFP

PALLEKELE: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis Saturday warned under-performing opening pair Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shahzad to start delivering World Cup runs.

“We have to show real improvement in our batting, especially our openers who have not done well,” said Waqar.

Pakistan defeated Canada by 46 runs in their last match, after being bowled out for a disappointing 184 against the Group A minnows.

Hafeez and Shahzad, who both showed good pre-tournament form, have managed partnerships of just 11, 28 and 16 in three matches so far, starts which Waqar feels put the middle order under strain.

“Both openers know they have not fired yet, but I’m not worried because there is no problem with their techniques, they were in good form coming into the World Cup, so I am sure they will come good soon,” said Waqar.

Waqar said every batsman need to show responsibility against New Zealand at Pallekele on Tuesday.

“I think since Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal and Younis Khan were making runs there was not much pressure but I am sure now after a poor batting show, others will also take responsibility. We need good starts,” said Waqar.

“We have batted first in all our three matches, so it would be a great test of our batsmen when we chase a target because that adds to the pressure,” he said.

Despite his reservations over the batting line-up, Waqar has no problems with the Pakistan attack.

“Our bowling is doing well and is supporting the batting, but we would have had a serious problem defending a 185-run target against stronger opposition.”

Waqar praised skipper Shahid Afridi whose leg-breaks fetched him 5-23 against Canada, taking him to a tournament-best 14 wickets.

“When Canada were batting well, I was sure that if we got one or two wickets then the gates would open and the way Afridi bowls I’m sure we can defend any good target,” said Waqar

Team manager Intikhab Alam said left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman has shown progress and will be available for selection after missing the Canada match because of leg muscle injury.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Mar 5, 2011 - 4:55PM

    After left handed Pakistan opener Saeed Anwar, Pakisan did not had a real good dependable opener.

    Saeed Anwar was dumped off because of BCCP politics. His talents must be used for a batting coach or as a Manager.

    Sooner our openers are back into Pavillion, pressure mounts on #3 and 4 batsman. Firstly, they become over-cautios resulting run rate drops. Secondly, the opponent mount more pressure and able to get more wicket.

    This is going for a long time. BCCP needs to find dependable openers and stop making make-shif arrangements which has served nothing so far.Recommend

  • Talha Masood
    Mar 5, 2011 - 8:44PM

    @Dr. Salim:

    What is “BCCP”??…are you referring to PCB?Recommend

  • ILLIDAN
    Mar 6, 2011 - 1:16AM

    @Talha -

    He is confused between BCCI & PCB, so kinda mixed it up! :P

    Btw, a matter of fact, let me just put it bluntly, we dont have good openers in Hafeez & Shehzad!Recommend

  • Mar 6, 2011 - 12:56PM

    @Talha Masood:
    Sorry that was typo it is PCB.

    We must find new talent for the openers.

    @Hassan
    Imran Nazeer was good. But after what he did in Honkong sixer tournament, Fingers are pointing towards him that he took a big amount to loose that finals against Hongkong. Hongkong needed 52 Runs in the final over, Skipper Shoaib Malik gave Imran Nazir to bowl the final over.

    If he would have stand on the crease and bowl straight, the batsman would have hit him maximum 6 sixes and even though Pakistan would have won easily. But to surprise to everyone including me he gave wides and no balls and Hongkong beat us in the final by scoring as many as 52 runs in the final over. Amazing. Probably this is the reason he is being sidelined.Recommend

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