ISLAMABAD: Former head coach Waqar Younis believes Pakistan team has all the potential to beat England on British shores.
Waqar termed the tour to be of utmost importance for Pakistan, who possess the capability to beat Alastair Cook’s men.
Speaking about England’s leading Test wicket-taker James Anderson, who has been ruled out of the first Test due to a shoulder injury, he said it did not matter who played from the English side. “The only thing which matters in this series is that we have to be at our best.
“English team is very good at the moment as they have thumped Sri Lanka,” he said while talking to a local TV channel.
‘Hafeez not a youngster’
Waqar said Pakistan openers are struggling at the moment and special attention must be paid to them.
“Although Mohammad Hafeez is looking lost in English conditions, we should still open with him,” adding that the right-handed batsman has struggled outside Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
“English and Australian series are very important for Hafeez’s career… he should know that he is not a youngster anymore and if he doesn’t perform then he won’t get many chances.”
Waqar said if Hafeez doesn’t do well as an opener in this series then “we should try Sami Aslam”.
‘Fingers will be raised’
Pakistan’s former head coach expressed his concern that Pakistan will be facing many challenges in this series in the form of British media, the pitches and the local conditions.
Mohammad Amir, who made his international comeback in January this year, will be under observation come Thursday. Talking about the reintegration of Amir into the international cricket, Waqar said: “Fingers will be raised on Mohammad Amir but our focus should be on winning the series.”
The 44-year-old, however, said that the left-arm quick is a very good bowler and can do well on any pitch.
Talking about Pakistan’s pace attack at large, Waqar said: “Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Sohail Khan and Rahat Ali are good bowlers and can do well in the series depending on the conditions of pitches,” he said.
‘Players cannot complain if they fail’
Having won the last Test series in 1996, the national side arrived in England last month to acclimatise to the alien conditions.
The former Pakistan captain said that the national side has gotten plenty of time to practice ahead of the series. “Now if they (players) fail they cannot complain that they did not get enough time to prepare themselves for the series,” he said.
Waqar faced great criticism due to Pakistan’s premature exit from the ICC World T20 in India earlier this year under his tutelage.
After kicking off the campaign with a comprehensive victory against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens, Kolkatta, the team lost against New Zealand, India and Australia, leading to their ouster.
On April 4, Waqar resigned as head coach of the team, just after star all-rounder Shahid Afridi resigned as T20 captain.
Courtesy : Dawn News