Wins will come soon - Waqar
Pakistan may have gone through turmoil in recent months, and suffered a league-stage exit in the Asia Cup, but coach Waqar Younis has said it will only be a matter of time before they start winning matches. Pakistan ended their campaign in Sri Lanka with a 139-run win against Bangladesh in Dambulla, after losing to the hosts and India.
"We are very close to being winners," Waqar said. "We didn't do badly in the T20 World Cup and even in this tournament. It's just that one extra step you need to take and start winning the games. I think it will come very soon. We got heaps of cricket after this. I think by the time we finish the England tour, or start the South African tour, we will start winning and we will look good. We still look a good side at the moment and these youngsters need a bit more time.
"In the subcontinent and Asia, I know it gets very frustrating very quickly when you are not winning. But now I feel like they look like one team. They look to win but it's not coming as we have seen in the recent past. But soon it will come."
Waqar said that he was happy with Pakistan's performance against Bangladesh and with their performance in the Asia Cup. "We are in a rebuilding process, with a couple of youngsters in our side. It's a great learning curve for them. We didn't qualify [for the final] but I know the boys performed extremely well. They batted well, bowled well and what they are missing on the field will come with experience."
He also praised the captaincy of Shahid Afridi and his contribution to the team. Afridi scored two centuries in three matches - against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - and signed off with a scorching 124 off 60 balls. "You always need your captain to be performing and the captain to be in form. Afridi played a superb knock. It's superb that he has scored runs and taken wickets that will really help the future of Pakistan cricket."
"Once we start winning it will be a different story. The wins are not coming but Afridi has got it in him. If the captain can go and play this sort of knock that shows that he's got the leadership qualities. It's just that a little bit more experience will do him a world of good."
Waqar was also pleased with the way Shoaib Akhtar was shaping up after returning to the national side following a lengthy absence. "Shoaib is still a little rusty and he needs more bowling. We are ready to give it to him in the mode of one-dayers and T20s," he said. "We'll go about him gradually and slowly. He bowled well in this tournament, quite fast and he's become a very intelligent bowler. I think he will come good in the near future."
Click here to listen to excerpts of Waqar Younis' press conference