April 13, 2001

Captains Comments after the 4th One-day international at Sharjah

Here are the ODI 4, post-match comments by Pakistan captain Waqar Younis and Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya.

'We would like to make it five in a row', Waqar Younis

On his team's third win on the trot?:
'It was a good win. I am really happy at the way Saeed Anwar and Inzamam are playing, like true professionals. I hope that would continue batting the same way right through to the final.'

On whether he was disappointed that both Anwar and Inzamam got out when they did, because of few recognised batsmen left?:
'Well, not really. They had played excellently well in the crucial middle overs, and that was important. We were placed at 208 at the start of the 41st over, and we had six wickets in hand; we ended up scoring another 70 runs in the last 10 overs with everybody chipping in bits and pieces. Younis Khan I feel played a good hand at this stage. All in all we had a good total.'

On the phenomenon of Shahid Afridi, and whether he backs him up to be his own self, bat as he likes and so on?:
'Well, yes. If a guy is a good hitter and he can clear the field, why not. He is a very dangerous batsmen in the initial overs, and I back him all the way. Look, at his contribution. He is batting well, bowling better and is tremendous in the field.'

On whether he was feeling too confident and thus rested Abdur Razzaq and Mohammad Sami?:
'Well, it is a 15-player squad and what is the fun of bringing people along if you don't have to play them. We felt that it was as good a time as any to give the youngsters a chance.'

On whether he felt confident after he got Jayasuriya and Kashif bowled Kaluwitharana?:
'Well, in these conditions bowling the first 15 overs is really a difficult job, and it is always good to have a couple of wickets early on.'

Since the result of the next Pakistan game is only of academic interest, would he try more changes?:
'Well, we would certainly think about it; we would see how to shuffle it best and still make it five wins in a row, because we would surely like to do that as well.'

On his team's magnificent run, and on the factors which made it possible?:
'Well, the most important thing is sticking together. And I had also told the boys to do well in the field, which they are doing. You can see our fielding has improved tremendously in this tournament.'

On whether the crowd's support has anything to do with it?:
'Well, Sharjah crowd has always done wonders for us. And this time round probably they are coming in such strength because they are feeling that something good is happening with our team.'

'It was a close run thing', Sanath Jayasuriya

On his side's second successive defeat against Pakistan?:
'Well, I think it is an unlucky run. It was a close run thing, we only lost by 28 runs. You would remember that we were beaten in the first game by 16 runs. So the margin was not all that big.'

On whether his side's batting was letting it down?:
'Well, we have to make do with what we have. Still I feel that the 20s and 30s that our batsmen scored should have been built upon into bigger individual innings.'

On Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul-Haq?:
'I must acknowledge that Pakistan played better, and Anwar and Inzamam played great knocks which basically were the difference between the two teams.'

On his side's bowling, and whether the lack of a leg-spinner in these conditions is hurting them?:
'Well, we have only one leg-spinner in the country, Upula Chandana, and he has a finger injury. So what could have we done. We played four slow bowlers in any case.'

On Muralitharan not getting many wickets?:
'Well, you can't expect him to take wickets all the time.'

On his future strategy?:
'Well, we're still there, we would see.'