World T20 2016 March 11, 2016

Waqar stresses on positive mindset after 'distraction'


Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis has said his team is ready for the challenge ahead and will make their presence felt in the World T20, despite recent setbacks after the uncertainty of their participation in India.

Pakistan's departure was delayed by three days after failing to get the required security clearances, which finally came on March 11 after lengthy deliberation between the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Indian government. The decision came after being assured of special security measures for Pakistan's team while in Kolkata, the venue for their match against India on March 19.

"I am happy that things have settled down," Waqar told ESPNcricinfo. "It could have been a big loss for world cricket if Pakistan was not part of the World T20. Uncertainty obviously isn't an ideal way to start a campaign but after some hiccups in the last few days, we managed to pull ourselves. We want to think good at this stage, leaving all the negative thoughts aside and right now we are in good spirits and we are ready for such a big tournament.

"Such things are not new to us, as we faced worse situation in 1999 and I was myself part of that team and we played well regardless of whatever the situation was. So we all are in a positive frame of mind and such negative things can prove positive for us. It might have caused some distraction but we are going to play cricket. We are going there to represent our country and the good thing is that we are eventually going and we will make our presence felt there with our performance."

Pakistan have had little time to prepare after a poor showing in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh, where they won two out of four games, losing to India and Bangladesh. The failure of the batting line-up led the Pakistan selectors to replace Ahmed Shehzad for Khurram Manzoor for the World T20. Waqar, whose own future is uncertain with his contract set to expire in two months, stressed on the importance of a positive mindset going into a major tournament.

"I think the aggression is missing in our batting, they need to come out, play positive cricket and not shy away from taking risks," Waqar said. "I have been motivating them and even the great Mohammad Ali said, 'He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life'. So players like [Shahid] Afridi and the entire team should understand their role and go out with a positive frame of mind thinking they have nothing to lose. Most of them know they have to perform because onus is on them now.

"We played badly in Bangladesh but now we have to support them and encourage them. We have to motivate them, stand behind them. This is no time to discourage them by showing their stats and what they have done recently. It's time to look ahead rather then pushing them back. I want the players to think and realise how important the flag on their chest is. It's not like they haven't done it in past but they have to believe that they are good and play selflessly. I am optimistic that we will bring a good result this time."

Waqar said the pitches in India would suit their batsmen, and Pakistan would be a force with their potent bowling attack. "I have a strong belief that pitches in India are going to be much better to bat on and if we get the runs on the board, I don't see why we can't win. Our bowling, as we all know is the best. Even the other teams and the international media have rated it high. I know we have to come hard and we have to play brave cricket. We can't sit back, but we have to go out and make things happen and I don't believe we can't do that."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dar on March 15, 2016, 11:34 GMT

    When will Afridi open or play at No-3/4 slot. This will give Pakistan better chance to calculate how to play. More often than not Pakistan batsmen beleive they have an X-factor in Afridi to up the run-rate later and they end often in devastation. If Afridi can get out early with no score of 10-20 runs your calculations will become simpler and you can make better adjustment. Please play him early and know your results before hand. For years together you keep Afridi till end and then expect him to show miracles- he cannot do it anymore. You cannot drop him for many reasons- team spirit will come down etc - so better play him as early as you can. Chances are there that he can end up winning you more matches as an openor, no-3/4 batsman as he did in 2009 T20 world cup. Give him just a bat to Flash with no game plan and see the results !!!!! Good InshaAllah

  • OmerPaki123 on March 12, 2016, 13:42 GMT

    i don't know why people are saying not taking risk in power play that is the time to take risks as their are only two fielders outside the ring taking singles in PP is not possible as the fielders are close to stop the singles and we don't have flashy runners so we need to hit them hard in the PP. 60-2 or 50-2 is good enough in 6 overs and then try to get some singles settle in and go hard after 12 and keep going hard if u look in the history u will find that teams loose even when they have wickets in hand as their overs runs out. Open with Sharjeel and Shehzad as the former is a strong hitter and later can find gaps Hafeez at 3 (no need to experiment now its too late) or maybe Sarfraz if the wicket goes down early 4.Akmal 5.Malik 6.Sarfraz 7.Afridi 8.Imad 9.Wahab 10.Amir 11.Irfan. If Wahab dose'nt perform in first two games bring Sami in and use him before 16th.

  • Naveed Abid on March 12, 2016, 9:04 GMT

    With resoect to the experienced coach i think afridi should open the innings as there is nothing he can do batting at no 6 as he is known for his strenght which can only be achieved to open the innings and make good use of the powerplay. And also the opening pair use ahmed sarfraz or ahmed shezad followed by umar akmal then hafeez and shoiab malik. For the bowling side no more experiments just use your stenght bowlers like aamir and irfan to get rid or the powerplay then first change with wahab riaz and afridi himself abd then share the rest between shoaib malik and imad wasim. Good luck pakistan..

  •   Asif Taufique on March 12, 2016, 7:29 GMT

    With the bowling attack Pakistan possess:

    Pakistan scores: 140 Runs ----- 50% Chance of Winning 150 Runs ----- 60% Chance of Winning 155 Runs ----- 70% Chance of Winning 165 Runs ----- 80% Chance of Winning 175 Runs ----- 90% Chance of Winning Above 175 Runs ----- 99% Chance of Winning

    Pakistani batsmen feel difficulty while attacking new ball. My Advice to Waqar Bhai is to get:

    * First 6 overs ------ 36 Runs with not more than 1 wicket (Mostly singles + odd boundries) * choose 2 bowlers or 8 Overs to go all balls attack strategy. ------ earn 11 runs per over from them. may loose in 5 wickets to them. 8 Overs = 88 Runs / 5 Wickets * remaining 8 overs ------ maintain 7 runs per over with 0 wickets.

    You will get 166 runs, which gives you 80% Chance of wining


    Strategy # 2; * Do not take RISKS in Power Play overs.

  • Saqib on March 12, 2016, 7:29 GMT

    Make a perfect XI and keep a bowler, batsmen and all rounder as back incase any injury or something that'll put one player out of team. No experiment everyone should know their roles in the line up and regardless of results we should stick to it'

  • Cricinfouser on March 12, 2016, 7:23 GMT

    Pakistan batting is not good at all.. Though they can bat well in batting friendly pitches. The only good batsman in their side is the keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed. Rest are pretty ordinary and inconsistent!

  • sunil on March 12, 2016, 7:01 GMT

    If Afridi and sarfraz opens that will be a great opening pair, sarfraz is cool and can hit the ball also. Good luck neighbors do something out of the blue.

  • Unni on March 12, 2016, 6:14 GMT

    Indian fan here and i feel afridi should open the innings as he can thwack a ball like noone. He has not done well at all coming at no 6. if he were to open and have a nice opening partnership it would make their lives a lot easier.

  • Ahdul on March 12, 2016, 4:49 GMT

    Good motivation by Waqar Younus

  • jaser shukra on March 12, 2016, 4:23 GMT

    afridi should be open d inn

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