Whatmore happy with Pakistan progress
Dav Whatmore, the Pakistan coach, is pleased with his team's performance in the Twenty20 series against Australia so far, after they won the first two matches to make the third and final T20 on Monday a dead rubber. Pakistan routed Australia in the first game, bowling them out for 89, but the second game was a much closer affair, with Pakistan prevailing off the final ball of the Super Over.
"I am very much delighted," Whatmore said. "Can't do any more than to win two out of two, it was an exciting finish (in the second T20), different from that I thought it would be, but it's good to have the experience of the Super Over leading up to the World Twenty20. We haven't played too many Super Overs, so that was good."
The current series was a chance for Pakistan to prepare for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka later this month and Whatmore said his side were where they wanted to be going into the tournament. "You want to have some confidence going into it, no point entering a big competition without having some wins under your belt. Where we are in the world standard, there is a world ranking but it is still difficult to gauge. I think it boils down to who can play their best cricket over a small period of time."
Whatmore wanted Pakistan to win Monday's final T20 and sweep the series. "You cannot say it is as big a game as if the series was 1-1, but it still important for us," he said. "The pressure is off, we will be a bit more relaxed. There will be a change or two in the team, it is an opportunity to look at one or two other players but to remain as competitive as possible as winning is important."
Whatmore also said allrounder Shahid Afridi is unlikely to play on Monday as a precautionary measure, and that offspinner Saeed Ajmal had recovered from his shoulder problem. "Afridi has an impact injury (on his left hand), I reckon he might be close to playing, but I don't think we will risk that. Another knock on that left hand might put him back another couple of weeks, which will be very bad for us. Saeed has a recurring problem with that left shoulder, but I am confident that he will play."