New Zealand v Pakistan, 6th ODI, Auckland February 5, 2011

'We may have got lazy' - Waqar


Waqar Younis, the Pakistan coach, has said his side may have found it hard to motivate themselves for the sixth ODI against New Zealand, having already won the series. Pakistan lost Saturday's match in Auckland by 57 runs, but the series ended 3-2 in their favour.

"We tried our best today [Saturday], but it didn't really happen," Waqar said. "When you win the series, it's hard to be motivated sometimes. Maybe you get a little lazy at times, but overall I'm happy with the way the boys played today."

Pakistan had won the toss and put New Zealand in to bat, hoping the Eden Park surface would offer something for the fast bowlers, but the pitch proved to be an absolute belter, as batsmen on both sides hit through the line without fear and to great effect; and Waqar admitted they had misread the conditions. "I think we were expecting the ball to move a little bit more. But here in Auckland it's a very deceptive pitch. Even when we used to play here a few years ago, it looks damp but it does nothing."

New Zealand's batsmen dominated the Pakistan attack on Saturday. Jesse Ryder made 107 from 93 balls, before Scott Styris and Nathan McCullum galloped to half-centuries towards the end of the innings to lift New Zealand's total to 310. Pakistan lost three wickets inside twelve overs in their run chase and Waqar said it was the regular loss of wickets that left them unable to threaten New Zealand's total.

"We gave it a good run, but every time we got momentum we lost a wicket at the wrong time. They played better than us when we were bowling, so they deserved to win."

Pakistan cricket has had a controversy-ridden last 12 months, but Waqar said the latest news that Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were facing charges from the Crown Prosecution Service in the UK did not have any effect on Pakistan's performance on the field in the final ODI, as the team were largely unaware of the charges. "I knew it because I read it in the paper, but I don't think anybody else knew it. I don't think the boys had any talk about it. It didn't really bother us."

Pakistan's loss at Eden Park followed a series-deciding victory in Hamilton, which gave Pakistan their first one-day series win since 2008. They had ended a four-year Test series drought, with a 1-0 win over New Zealand earlier in the tour, and Waqar said the results were encouraging ahead of the World Cup. "It's been a while since Pakistan won anything. The most satisfying thing is the fitness is pretty good. The guys look good in the field, which has never happened before. They're all geared up and hopefully the same momentum goes into the World Cup.

"With the amount of controversy in the last 8 to 9 months, we needed something like this. We needed to develop our team again, and the only way we could do it is if we started playing well."

Misbah-ul-Haq and Wahab Riaz were rested for the final ODI, giving Sohail Tanvir and Asad Shafiq some valuable match practice before the World Cup. Tanvir was expensive, leaking 78 runs in eight overs, but Shafiq impressed during his stay, rebuilding smartly alongside Kamran Akmal after Pakistan had lost three early wickets. Waqar said Pakistan hadn't yet finalised their XI for the World Cup. "We've given most of our guys a game. Asad Shafiq played really well today. It's unfortunate he got run out because he was looking really good. We don't really know the XI at the moment because there are a few warm-up games before the World Cup, but we've got a good unit."

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and blogs here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Iqbal on February 8, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    The Auckland ODI loss for Pakistan is something like a blessing in disguise, and, fortunately, did not have any bearing on the outcome of the series. Nevertheless, it is surely an eye opener, and a timely one for that matter, as it has come at a very crucial stage when the World Cup is about to get underway. The decision-making as far as the captain is concerned, should better be left to him rather than a preconceived one (like in this case) where the pitch and/or astmospheric conditions are misread by the 'coach' and transmitted to the skipper. The next issue that needs to be recognised, and a very important one really, is the need to define the roles of each and every member of the team together with a sense of assurance in each player's mind that he will be given the fullest opportunity to show his worth during the course of the match. The case in point is Razzaq who had to be content with a few overs here and there, sometimes as an opening bowler and other times as a change bowler.

  • abdul on February 7, 2011, 22:53 GMT

    Pak should alternate the batting between big hitters and consolidators and adjust the batting line up accordingly. U Akmal clearly cannot handle the pressure in the run chase lower down the order. If Pak go by bi hitter followed by consolidate followed by big hitter is too risky and put extra pressure on the late big hitters. If big hitters flop at the end, Pak impossible to chase or put big score on board. A specialist batsman should stay with the tail to the end. Ditch Tanvir bring Ajmal or Rehman instead. So I think sending alternate consolidate and big hitter is a good idea without putting undue pressure on coming batsmen at the same time shows fliexibility.

  • Dummy4 on February 7, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    Shoaib Akhtar should be ready to complete his 10 over quota now? The way he is sweating and breathing after 3 balls, well!

  • Dummy4 on February 6, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    I guess at least Kamran akmal got a bit of batting! But I'm not too sure about Younis Khan, he's terribly out of form. Maybe Yousaf should have been in the tests and could have been given the chance in the world cup if he got back in form. I still can't believe how Waqar Younis keeps misjudging these conditions after being a bowler. The only two tosses Pakistan won both were lost! Specially the first game what a disaster that was..... Good luck for the world cup boys.

  • Dummy4 on February 6, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    i must say i am a bit disappointed on punishment given it to trio,as i expected them to be baned for life.specialy BUT i do not know on what basis they given him only 5 years specialy comparing to aamir.what a lot pakistanies do not understand beacuse of thier deed pakistan flood relief also got affected badly and millions of poors got affected.

  • Asadullah on February 6, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    why afridi is waisting umar akmal's talent by sending him at no.6 he is a specialist batsman not just a hitter.they should continue with same team in world cup but should adjust the batting order properly and even in bowling they should use there prime bowlers properly.according to me the batting order should be like this... hafeez and ahmed openers, younis,misbah and u akmal middle order and k akmal(as he had played many good innings as a lower order batsman),afridi and razzaq as a lower order and finnally the tailenders gul,wahab and akhter/ajmal/rehman. then inshalla pakistan will win the world cup

  • TBM on February 6, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    I also believe Afridi has something going against Razzaq, as he is not giving Razzaq his full quota of overs, in almist every game. I am sure this fact is not hidden from W younis, who should make an effort to correct this enmity between his star playersk as this does not bode well for the entire team. we need cohesion and trust among everyone, otherwise we have lost out on the WC before we play a single game. I would like the captain to give the last overs to the bowlers who have been least expensive than others. The captain can determine this by the time the game is 25 to 30 overs old. This would also include the captain himself, not to bowl if he was expensive than the other bowlers. I expect our captain to be strong minded but also strongwilled to make such decisions, about bowling, including not giving himself the bowl, unless there are no alternatives. Insha'Allah we'll have a strong team and we will win. GO PAKISTAN win the WC for all your supporters. Play as a TEAM.

  • Ryan on February 6, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    Razzaq is bowling great at the moment. Not sure why he doesn't bowl his 10 overs.

  • Atul on February 6, 2011, 0:44 GMT

    if pak had won this one, waqar wud hav made diffrnt comment like we r completely fit for WC now and so on. the fact is,it wil take extra ordinary efforts by current pak team to get into WC semis from here. I believe.. WC semis favorites are - SA,Aus,Ind,Eng,SL and Pak in that order. That means, pak wil hav 2 show really hard fight to climb into the top 4 spots from here..Gud luck..

  • Nadeem on February 5, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    Nothing wrong to lose a match after wining a series , why would we put 150% to win a useless match before WC, we need fully fit cricketers before WC and putting 150% to win a match can make players unfit.

    I think it was good match practice and i will not criticize any body becuase NZ played well and pakistan did not but good thing is that pakistan has alreay won the series. No point to say who is wrong and who is right. Good job Pakistan for wining two series in a row. Have fun in WC.

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