MOHALI: Terming his team’s performances in the ongoing World Twenty20 “not good enough”, coach Waqar Younis has said that Pakistan don’t deserve to reach the semis of the mega event.
After starting their campaign with a win against Bangladesh, Pakistan catapulted to back-to-back losses against arch-rivals India and New Zealand to virtually rule themselves out of the contention to reach the last four.
Following Pakistan’s loss against the Kiwis on Tuesday, Waqar hit out at his batsmen for failing to accelerate after a blistering start.
Chasing 181, Ahmed Shehzad (30 off 32 balls) and Umar Akmal (24 off 26 balls) failed to capitalise on a good start provided by Sharjeel Khan (47 off 25 balls) to lose by 22 runs.
“If you see, we didn’t move at all from the eighth to the 15th over [run-rate slowed down],” an upset Waqar said at the post match press conference.
“Two of our so-called youngsters, upcoming cricketers…they both batted for a good chunk of time in the middle, where we thought you would take the game away. We just hoped so, but couldn’t finish.”
He said Pakistan’s performance was just not good enough.
“I think the platform we needed, we had got that. I think they bowled really well, one must admit that. In the middle, I think we couldn’t find the boundaries, which were important. And simply not good enough, I guess,” said the coach.
Stating that it was “very painful” to see the batsmen repeating the same mistakes, Waqar said: “I think the cricket board and the selectors will have to take a call. Once again, I will say, not good enough.”
On some batsmen complaining that they are not getting to bat at the desired positions, the former pacer said: “Twenty20 cricket is such a format where one should adjust and be able to adapt to the conditions. Those who are raising this issue that they are not getting to bat at desired position, there could not have been a better opportunity after Sharjeel created the platform.
“At one stage, we needed to score singles and doubles to win the match. But one must say, we are not good enough, I am simply saying that. No matter, how much we keep talking about we lack this and that, but people need to introspect, is this about number or is this about Pakistan.”
Having lost two out of three games, Pakistan are virtually out of the competition but Waqar said he would not like to lose hope.
“Look, we will keep hope. But the brand of cricket we are playing is unfortunate. It is not the question whether we should keep hope or not, after all life carries on hope. However, the type of cricket and the kind of performance we are putting up, [we] don’t deserve,” he said.
Asked about Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi last evening giving clear indications that he would retire from the shortest format after his team’s campaign ends in the ongoing World T20, he said, “What should I comment on that? Of course, he has decided to finish playing cricket for Pakistan. I do not know what other sort of cricket he is going to carry on playing. But yeah, of course, he is looking to finish it.”
On whether he would also like to continue as the coach in wake of Pakistan’s poor performances, he said he would take a call only after returning home.
“Look, I don’t know. I think, a lot of things need to be told to the board, Also what is going wrong. I have told it in the past also, it’s not for the first time I would be telling. But yeah, I will go back and have a look, and I will try to make people understand who are in control [at the helm], if they agree or don’t, it is entirely up to them,” Waqar signed off.