Captains' interview after the 5th One-day international

Agha Akbar

April 15, 2001

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Here is the ODI 5, post-match interview of Pakistan captain Waqar Younis and New Zealand captain Craig McMillan

'England will be a great challenge', says Waqar Younis

On his being appointed the captain for the forthcoming England tour?:
'Well, it's a great challenge. Since I started out we've always won a Test in England, and before that in 1987 as well. Since it's going to be my last series in England, I would really like to do well, and make sure that the team gives a good account of itself. I would definitely give it my best shot.'

On winning the last league match of this double league round robin game?:
'Well, it turned out to be a one-sided affair, our bowlers ensured that. Razzaq got us the breakthrough and we never looked back from there; he really bowled magnificently well. Sami had found it tough in the first spell, but he bowled really well in his second. He really is a great find for Pakistan. I am really happy with his bowling and I hope that he does the same in the final. Saqlain too got amongst the wickets and that was that.'

On his side's batting?:
'Well, the openers went cheaply - and we've identified it as a problem area, but then Inzamam took charge. He really is the backbone of our team, and hungry to score runs. He again went about the job in a professional manner and remained there till the end.'

On Pakistan's prospects in the final?:
'That is another game, the tournament is not over yet. We are focused on that. We have four days to go for the final, and after a day's break on Monday we would be back at the nets. We're not going to take it easy, whosoever the opposition is - it looks like it would be Sri Lanka - we're going to make sure that we do well. We're going to learn from our mistakes and remove them from our game.'

On what he feels are the chinks?:
'Well, as I said before, one major flaw is two wickets falling simultaneously. That is something we're going to work on so that our upper order contributes more runs in the first 15 overs.'

On whether the lower order is a bit lean and inexperienced, and if Anwar and Inzamam are out early there could be a problem?:
'Well, it is not that it is lean, it is just that it hasn't got much of a chance so far. We would make sure that in the nets in three days we provide maximum practice to the lower order batsmen.'

(Manager - Yawar Saeed interjects):
'We are thinking positive and believe that the batsmen down the order would deliver if they are required to. I am very happy so far, and I think I would be happier on the night of April 20.'

On whether Shahid Afridi was rested or was he injured?:
'Well, he wanted to play but it was considered by all of us that it would be better to rest him.'

On whether he would be happy if the experienced players were back for the England tour?:
'We haven't discussed about it. For the moment we are just focused on the final. I don't want to think about the England series at this point in time. It's been nice to hear that I've been appointed to captain, but beyond that I have not really given any thought to it.'



'Our batting is to blame for defeat', says Craig McMillan

On things not falling in place for the Kiwis yet again?:
'Well, they didn't.'

On what happened after a positive start?:
'Well, we got off to a start but then we didn't capitalise on it. We actually got a start in all the games. But then we lost too many wickets and couldn't recover.'

On the one game left for the Kiwis?:
'Well, we've the only chance left to make an impression. That is what we've told the boys; to be positive about it and do whatever they can to deliver. We obviously want to win it; that is the goal.'

On whether the Razzaq spell did them in?:
'Well, he took wickets and that is what brought us under pressure. But to be honest, it was a case of self-destruction to a great extent. We did ourselves in more than Razzaq or any other bowlers. A couple of guys played across the line, a couple of caught and bowled, and there was a run out.'

On whether Chris Harris' lack of form, with both bat and ball bothering him?:
'Well, all sorts of things are bothering me at the moment.'

On whether he misses a world class spinner in his team?:
'Well, yes, Vettori is world class and we miss him indeed. But we are not missing him alone, there are a number of guys that we are missing. But we can't make excuses. We've got a team here, whom we expected to do well. They are a young team and it has not batted as well as should have. So we have got one game to change that.'

On how were the boys taking it?:
'Well, everybody is pretty disappointed, as they should be. But we have told them that they have got one last opportunity to make amends.'

On hindsight whether he thinks the previous game against Pakistan was a bad loss after putting 266 on the board?:
'Well, you are right it was a chance missed. But as I have said before Afridi took that away from us. That was the most dynamic innings of the tournament so far, and if he is in that groove I don't think there is any team in the world that can stop him. That was unfortunate for us.'

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