Coach Waqar Younis wants to remove the “unpredictable” image linked to his Pakistan side ahead of this week’s final two one-day international against New Zealand.
Pakistan routed New Zealand by 147 runs—their second biggest win over the rivals—in the third day-night international in Sharjah on Sunday. That came two days after Pakistan went down by four wickets in an unimpressive show in the second match, also played in Sharjah.
With Pakistan leading the five-match series 2-1, Waqar wants consistency in the final two matches in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and Friday. “We have to remove that tag,” said Younis on Monday. “Saying that it’s [lack of consistency] no more a problem would be wrong but the effort is to develop a good team which can do well abroad.”
Pakistan posted 364-7 in 50 overs—their highest total against New Zealand in all one-day cricket—before dismissing their rivals for 217 in 38.2 overs.
Younis stressed he wants to develop a good team. “We have not become world beaters by winning the match big, there is plenty to work and if we win consistently our performance should be so good so that even if we lose we are not hurt,” said the former Pakistan captain.
He described skipper Misbah-ul-Haq’s hamstring injury which ruled him out of the last three games as a setback. “We wanted him to be fit and play in this series but I hope he will be back in three weeks and we have started working on that,” he added.
All-rounder Shahid Afridi replaced Haq as skipper for the remaining games and celebrated the occasion with 55 runs off 26 balls, besides taking three wickets on Sunday. “When you win, everything looks good and Afridi led the team well but saying it [the win] came because of change in captaincy would be unfair,” said Younis. He said the team management was trying to overcome the loss of Mohammad Hafeez as bowler after his suspension last week for illegal action.
“We are trying to develop players who can bowl as well as bat so we will also work on [Ahmed] Shehzad and try to get the best out of him as a bowler, we are trying to get Hafeez cleared before the World Cup, so we have all our resources in the mega event,” he said.
Left-handed batsman Haris Sohail filled in as left-arm spinner, taking three wickets each in the last two matches. Younis said he hoped senior batsman Younis Khan would show form. “I think Younis did well in the last match,” he said of Khan, who made 35 on Sunday. “We are looking for someone around whom others can bat, he has an amazing record in Tests and technique but I feel he needs runs to get his confidence back in one-day and I am sure it’s just round the corner.”