World Cup

Waqar flays middle order

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis discuss with Umar Akmal New Zealand in Mohali on Monday, March 21. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar   | Photo Credit: AKHILESH KUMAR;AKHILESH KUMAR -

Known to rip apart rival batting line-ups with his stinging yorkers, coach Waqar Younis flayed Pakistani middle order batsmen for their poor performance against New Zealand in the World T20 at the PCA Stadium here on Tuesday night.

Pakistan’s second loss in three matches all but smashed its hopes of making it to the semifinals. Taking a dig at non-performers, a hurt Waqar said, “I can’t say what injection we need, but the selectors will have to pay attention to this performance. They will have to find out what players this team needs.”

Against the backdrop of a video showing Umar Akmal ‘requesting’ Imran Khan to recommend a higher batting spot for him becoming viral on the Internet, Waqar said, “If I go into detail, there will be a lot of issues...You have to be able to adjust in T20. Those who were shouting about not getting to bat in the position they want, this was their perfect opportunity. You can cry all you want, you can talk all you want, we are just not good enough. People will have to take a hard look at themselves.”

Despite getting a flying start, thanks to opener Sharjeel Khan’s explosive batting, Pakistan could not sustain the momentum and lost the match by 22 runs.

“We didn’t move at all from the eighth to the 15th over. Two of our so-called youngsters, up-and-coming cricketers, batted for a good chunk of time in the middle where we thought we would take the game away. We were always in with a hope. But couldn’t really finish it.”

Asked about Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi’s announcement that he might retire from international cricket after Friday’s match against Australia, Waqar said, “What can I say? He has then decided to finish playing for Pakistan, don’t know about other cricket.”

Martin Guptill, who made a major contribution in New Zealand’s win by scoring a fast-paced 80 and taking three catches, praised his bowlers for fighting back in time.

“We didn’t bowl particularly well upfront and were able to pull it back through some tight bowling and good fielding.

“Ish (Sodhi) and Mitch (ell Santner) are going really well at the moment. Great changes of pace and using the variations when they need to.”

Guptill said New Zealand was focusing on each match, assessing what sort of total should be safe on a particular track.

“We played on two similar surfaces in Dharamshala and Nagpur. Here we got a better pitch. We could be confronted with something completely different in Kolkata,” said the Kiwi opener.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 11:07:25 PM |

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