LAHORE – Legendary fast bowler and present head coach of Pakistan team Waqar Younis said that he is happy that his team is not going into the World Cup tagged as favorites.
While talking to media persons Waqar Younis said pointed to their creditable semi-final finish in the 2011 edition when they went in without too many expectations.
“I am happy that we are not favorites,” Waqar said in Lahore. “To be very honest it’s big pressure of being favorites. We were not favorites last time (in 2011) too but we played excellent cricket. Similarly this time, there are teams which play on those bouncy wickets like Australia and South Africa, and are probably bigger favorites than us. But we hope that with the type of resources we have we can do well.”
As preparation for the World Cup, Pakistan had a five-day camp in Lahore which will be followed by two ODIs against New Zealand in Wellington and Napier. During the camp, batsmen were seen playing on marble slabs to counter short balls though the sessions remained brief. Pakistan recently had a lengthy outing in the UAE and avoided going into an extensive conditioning camp. Waqar said Pakistan have “sufficient” cricket at World Cup venues to adapt to the conditions.
“As far as the camp is concerned, we had been playing cricket for the last three months, the camp was just for bonding, to recollect things for four-five days. Of course conditions were quite different from where we are going, here it was quite cold, but we are going to New Zealand first, and we have two weeks to get used to the conditions there.
“That’s all you got and it’s not that every team, apart from three teams which are playing in Australia, the conditions will be same for all other teams as well. We had been playing for quite some time now and you do not want to get burn out, you do not want to get fatigued. You need fresh people and we are trying to keep them fresh. We have few matches before the World Cup and I think we have sufficient time.”
Pakistan have named five fast bowlers in their World Cup squad including the injury prone Junaid Khan, who had another scare when he slipped while bowling in the nets on Thursday. Mohammad Irfan may have been in flow but he has a brittle body.
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