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Happy Pakistan is not among favourites for the World Cup: Waqar Younis

Waqar Younis says being among the favourites for the World Cup puts unnecessary pressure on players.

FEATURED WRITER
News 18 Jan 2015, 02:05 IST
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Waqar Younis
Waqar Younis

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis said he was happy his team were not among the favourites to win the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, saying the tag often put unnecessary pressure on players. Pakistan, who play 2 One Day Internationals (ODI) against New Zealand before the World Cup on January 31 and February 3, start their World Cup campaign against rivals and defending Champions India in Adelaide on February 15.

Waqar said, “I am happy that we are not the favourites, to be very honest because it is a big pressure, being the favourites.

“We were not the favourites last time either but we played excellent cricket and reached the semi-finals.”

“I have lots of hopes”

Waqar said four-time champions Australia and South Africa stand a better chance, while also admitting that injuries to his players have unsettled the team.

He said, “Of course, teams which play on those bouncy wickets like Australia and South Africa are probably more the favourites than us. But, I have lots of hopes.

“We had problems with our fast bowlers for few months and, of course, the recent episode with Junaid — it’s a setback. If you have injuries you can’t move forward.”

“Afridi and Misbah want to finish on a high

Waqar hopes for a turnaround in fortunes for himself at the World Cup, having missed the 1992 World Cup through injury and captained Pakistan to a first round exit at the 2003 edition.

“The World Cup has never been that kind to me, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

Waqar said he has hopes for strong play from captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi, both of who will retire after the World Cup.

“Of course, Afridi is number one, we have big hopes for him and Misbah, they are going out after the World Cup.

“In the camp over the last four to five days, I have seen both want to finish on a high, which is a very good sign,” he said.

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