MANCHESTER: Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis believes the only way Sarfaraz Ahmed and Co can stay alive in the World Cup is by adding sheer pace to their bowling arsenal.
Waqar, a former Pakistan captain and head coach, has watched helplessly as the national team has slumped to ninth place on the World Cup points table.
He was also clearly unhappy to see Pakistan putting up a timid show in their key World Cup clash against India at Old Trafford on Sunday. India comfortably won the rain-affected game by 89 runs.
“In the last few years, there’s been a massive difference India and Pakistan - and again it showed at Old Trafford on Sunday,” Waqar wrote in his column for the ICC.
“Pakistan are still trying to rely on talent alone, while with India it’s all about teamwork. They all know their roles, and they execute them superbly."
“We had good sides in the 1990s, but now I think this India team intimidates Pakistan."
“When Pakistan teams head into these games, they are always under pressure and feel like they’re the weaker team."
“That culture needs to change first, and then the fitness level needs to match the Indian players."
“Of course, Sarfaraz got it wrong at the toss; especially when you’re playing two spinners and you decide to bowl first."
“More than that though, I feel that they got it wrong with the ball in hand. They struggled to put the ball in good areas on a regular basis, and it was easy pickings for the Indian batsmen."
“India have very classy batsmen, let’s not forget. They wait for the bad ball, and didn’t have to do much against the Pakistan attack given the inconsistency in the length."
“Mohammad Amir was the only one who created a bit of pressure by bowling a good length."
“I feel English conditions actually suit him the most because there’s always something there for him. He knows how to bowl on these pitches."
“Amir has come back with a bang and he’s now bowling really well, finding a nice rhythm."
“But elsewhere, that venom is not really there and the pace is down."
“I would now try and bring one of the youngsters back into the team. In this Pakistan bowling attack, there’s no real pace apart from Wahab."
“When you look around at the other teams, they have guys that can bowl 140kph, so maybe Hasnain is the way to go up front with the new ball."
“The good thing is Pakistan now have one week off before the next game against South Africa."
“They’ll have time to go back and reflect on the mistakes that have been made, and what needs to change."
“The South Africans are also down, so it’s a match between two teams that have not really justified their potential yet."
“All is not lost, despite the blow of this latest defeat. I feel that if Pakistan win all four games, there’s still a chance they go through."
“The chances of that happening are low now, but it's simply a case of starting to win games first and then see where you are later in the tournament.”
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