Bob Woolmer believes that Pakistan can beat Australia in the final of the Videocon Cup in Amsterdam tomorrow. "Why not? Someone's got to do it," said Woolmer when asked about Pakistan's chances.
Woolmer was happy that his desire to make individuals responsible for their own fitness was already bearing fruit. "After the game against India, eight people went for a run in the park at 9pm at night. No-one asked them to do that. They just got hold of the trainer and said 'Let's go for a run'."
Woolmer added that he had no problems in dealing with Shoaib Akhtar, and that his job was to try and get the best out of him. "Shoaib and the PCB management had a fallout. I can't worry about that. My job is to get the best team on the field. I had to develop a rapport. We had two or three meetings. And eventually it was a case of 'Shoaib, if you don't turn up for camp you won't play and you won't be selected and you make the choice.' The rest, as they say, is history."
Shoaib appeared equally upbeat about Woolmer's influence. He even went as far as suggesting that Woolmer could be the key to a Pakistan victory in what would be their first one-dayer against Australia since the 82-run defeat at Johannesburg in last year's World Cup. "We can beat Australia," Shoaib said. "The difference is Bob Woolmer. Our results since he's taken over show that. It's more or less the same group of players but because of him we are playing as a unit with everyone pulling together. He's getting more out of us."