We have bowling resources to challenge SL claims Waqar

Source:  Dawn.com Published in Sports on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis said on Monday though his team’s fast bowling was no match to South African pace battery featuring the likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, overall it was balanced with the backing of quality spinners and promising young pacers to challenge Sri Lankan batsmen-

“I saw the first Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka [that South Africa won by 153 runs] the other day. Both are the quality teams but it will be unfair if anyone compares our fast bowers to Steyn and Morkel because ours are young,” Waqar, a veteran of 87 Tests and 262 ODIs, said before starting the training camp for Sri Lanka-bound Pakistan squad at the Gaddafi Stadium here on Monday.

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“However, we have resources and we may attack Sri Lankan batsmen in different ways with the backing of quality spinners like Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman besides upcoming pacers Mohammad Talha and Wahab Riaz.”

Steyn and Morkel shared between them 15 wickets in the first Test with the former taking nine wickets as Hashim Amla’s men clinched the first Test on the final day in Galle. The high-profile duo produced an outstanding show in Sri Lanka where traditionally spinners are considered more threatening.

The Pakistan team is going to Sri Lanka on Aug 2 to play a two-Test series from Aug 6 followed by a three-game ODI series.

“I have noted several points of the first [Sri Lanka-South Africa] Test that will help me chalk out a winning plan for the Sri Lanka tour, though the final strategy will be finalised after we reach Sri Lanka,” said Waqar bagged Test 373 and 416 ODI wickets.

“It [Sri Lanka] is a very important series, a step forward for us to prepare for the 2015 World Cup and we will be eyeing victory when we take on Sri Lanka,” he added.

Asked if the 10-member team management would be of assistance to him or an additional burden as he would also be dealing with 15 players on the tour, Waqar said: “Of course, the team management will play a helping hand for me. I think It [the team management] is still not big when compared with large supporting staff of other teams.

“If we want better results we will have to move forward professionally to meet all demands of the players,” added Waqar.

To a question, Waqar said his strategy against Sri Lanka would neither be attacking nor defensive, but positive to win every match on the tour.

In Sri Lanka, the coach added, the team management would take the decision on either to play with two spinners or three pacers.

To a question, Waqar said the 2015 World Cup was still far away and no one should forget that Pakistan would play some important series — against Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia and again against New Zealand — before the mega event.

“We have to move carefully to test every quality player in the upcoming series systematically and then decide a final line-up for the World Cup,” Waqar underlined.

To a query about PCB affairs, Waqar said he had no concern with those as he was just focused on the team’s preparations for the Sri Lanka tour. The coach hoped those affairs would not have any impact on the team’s preparations.

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