Australia v Pakistan, World T20 2016, Group 2, Mohali March 25, 2016

We need to select better fielders - Waqar

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'We need to pick better fielders next time' - Waqar

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has rubbished all talks of a rift in his side, and has urged everybody to not let these notions take away from the fact that Pakistan have not been playing good cricket. Waqar's own future as the Pakistan coach is not certain - his contract comes up for renewal in June - but he had advice, especially for the Pakistan selectors: look at the fielding aspect too before they pick players. Pakistan's sloppy fielding might have been the difference between against Australia and New Zealand in the last two matches, with too many of them needing hiding.

"I think the difference between the teams is very obvious and clear," Waqar said. "We are not the best fielding side in the tournament. We need to think hard. The selectors need to look at that too. When you pick someone you have to look at the fielding aspect of his game. We have to look at youngsters. These big events bring about change so let's see."

When asked about reports of rift in the team, Waqar said: "That the boys are not in agreement, not united, these are all made-up things. I was myself disturbed that such rumours have been spread. We are not playing good cricket, and that's the bottom line. As a result of that we have to face this."

Waqar said losing against New Zealand three nights ago, when they were in charge of the chase after an explosive start from Sharjeel Khan, hurt him more than the loss to Australia. "There is obvious disappointment of getting knocked out of the World Cup," he said. "We were disappointed more about the New Zealand game than this one because that match was in our control. We made mistakes with our bowling [today]. Not just in the final overs, when we went for a few, but whenever we got wickets we conceded boundaries. Had we bowled well they wouldn't have scored 193. The boys were off the plan, we made mistakes."

Waqar was asked if Pakistan cricket was in terminal decline, and what the reason behind it was. "Now that we have just been knocked out, if I say something it might sound as an excuse," Waqar said. "But if you look deeply there has been no cricket in Pakistan for the last six-seven years; its effects are showing. We had match-winners too. Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez, who could bowl. Yes there is indeed a bit of decline, and we need to arrest it. We will have to look at our domestic cricket and our infrastructure."

About the future - his own and Afridi's - Waqar was less certain. About himself, Waqar said: "About my career we will see what the state of affairs are. Will meet the chairman of the PCB and then decide."

Afridi was supposed to address the press conference after the defeat, but at the last moment Waqar was asked to come. "What I have heard is he [Afridi] is going to go back and do the press conference in Pakistan," Waqar said. "Then he will decide what his future plans are." As with Afridi's two-decade career, his next move is anybody's guess.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Crazyreefer on April 2, 2016, 17:34 GMT

    I was going to and see Pakistan play ODI this summer in England but I'm not going to bother because Pakistan are no match for England..... I can see a complete white wash on the cards

  • wpbus13 on March 31, 2016, 0:43 GMT

    Waqar is absolutely right! Pakistan's fitness level and ground game are poor. Sometimes it is difficult to hear the truth! Cricket is no longer just about batting and bowling; if you are a below average fielder then you become a liability to the team. It is as simple as that. The good teams have at least 5 to 6 excellent fielders that create chances from nothing. It's all about momentum, an outstanding catch or an impossible run out could swing the pendulum back in your favor. At the same time, it is time for Afridi to move on.

  • AliKiani on March 27, 2016, 12:03 GMT

    Waqar and Afridi are not smart.... They learnt nothing PSL ... Pakistan needed to include 2 left arm spinners in the team(Imad and Nawaz) against NZ and Aussie....or in fact in all matches.... We may have have qualifed ......OUR BATTING is weak because Players like Umar Akmal And Sarjeel are just sitting ducks when facing Spin..... My future team ...(Sarjeel, sarfraz,haris sohail,babar azam Shoaib UmarAkmal..imad nawaz..amir , then (Yasir shah or Usman Mir...) and Irfan, Wahab....Plus a right arm variation boweler.....) the combinations should depend on playing combination... Hafeez can our spare wheel..

  • IMPACT92 on March 27, 2016, 4:40 GMT

    I think Waqar should quit because he really don't understand T20 Cricket. Pakistan bowling attack was really good but that is for test cricket not t20's. Wahab, Amir & Sami can produce match winning spell in test cricket. But, t20 requires different sets of skills like Bravo, Bumrah, Mustafizur. You need to mix the variations, read the batsman mind. Look Kane Williamson understand this and he kept Bolt and Southee in the bench. He will use them when he will be certain about conditions favoring them. This format is not for Good Bowlers but clever bowlers. Even Abdur Razzak would have bowled well in this conditions than Amir, Sami & Wahab. Pick a coach like Dean Jones. All thing will be solved gradually.

  • Pindia on March 26, 2016, 11:21 GMT

    Nah. Obvious to any objective observers. Accross all formats. Bring Ajmal back. Make Azhar, Shahzad, Sarfaraz and Shafiq the nucleus of the batting line up. Sure get some smashers such as Sharjeel and Anwar in. And for the fast bowling Wahab, Giant and Amir...

  • danishsyed88 on March 26, 2016, 11:20 GMT

    I agree with Unmesh_Cric. Pakistan does not have any world class batsman in their midst. I will also add that there is no batsman that can be relied to hit the ball out of the park regularly. Almost every team has its slogger/hitter: Buttler/Roy for England, AB/Roussouw for SA, Maxwell/Finch for Aus etc. But Pakistan doesn't, and if they say that role is Afridi's, then I am sad to say that he is outdated.

    What Pakistan need is an England-like overhaul: a new young team, led by a young captain, with one or two senior players (only if needed) who are known not to engage in any politics and whom these younger players respect, and a coach who loves working on a young team. A foreign coach would be great because he can come with some experience of coaching successful teams, but, if not, then a local one who is dedicated

  • UmerKhan_SMZ on March 26, 2016, 5:09 GMT

    Ultimately, it all comes down to how blunt Pakistan management is in its decision -making from now on.Are they brave enough to look past Afridi or not? If his two sixes against Ashwin in Asia Cup 2014 favour him a place for one more year, don't Umar Gul's heroics with the bat against South Africa in wt20 2012 favour him a place as a finisher then if it is just one inning that matters? Waqar, after one match blames Batting for the turmoil and after another blames fielding. Pakistan is replete w ith individual brillance in all three departments, isn't it Coach's faluire if all of it doesn't come together? It is high time Pakistan looks for answers. Answers that are uncompromising, anwers that could break a few hearts as well , but all of it has to be in the interests of the nation and cricket in particular.

  •   Bilal Ahmed on March 26, 2016, 3:17 GMT

    Shame on waqar such a worst decision made. You dont have to select better fielders but to teach team how to field.

  • bhariii on March 26, 2016, 2:02 GMT

    The one thing Pakistan need to do is to back it's players like how India does and allow them to flourish .What they are doing now is picking a player for 1 or2 series and then dropping them then after the next series bringing them backback.Pakistan have a lot of batting talent ,it's just about backing the and giving confidence

  • RedDirt on March 26, 2016, 1:44 GMT

    Younis is absolutely correct. Take Khawaja, for example. He is clearly the worst fielder in the Australian squad. As an outsider looking in, the contrast is stark. It could be suggested Pakistani culture is the problem. It looks like Pakistani's consider themselves too high and mighty to do the hard work it takes to become elite fielders. I think they always look to cut corners or at least take the easy way out. Also their manner is not stable. They are always up and down, and that's just in one over! They complain to each other and make hand gestures, and embarrass their teammates who could not help but feel resentment. Even in the crowd - grown men acting like children - it's just so foreign to playing professional cricket at the highest level. There is a reason why other teams say Pakistan is an enigma. That's PC-speak for they lack emotional maturity in everything they do on a cricket field.

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