Cricket World Cup 2015

Khan backed to come good

2015-02-12 16:00
Younis Khan (Gallo)

Sydney - Pakistan coach Waqar Younis on Thursday has backed senior batsman Younis Khan to return to form in the World Cup despite a worrying slump.

The 37-year-old has managed just 1, 7, 9, 11, 25 and 19 in the six matches Pakistan have played since arriving in New Zealand last month.

Younis was not in the selectors' planning for the World Cup but the veteran hit a hundred in the 3-2 defeat against New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates in November last year and forced his way into the 15-man squad.

"I think the pitches in Australia and New Zealand are challenging and initially batsmen struggle here but he is a senior batsman. We need him to get into the right kind of form soon. I am confident that he will come into that soon," said Waqar.

If Pakistan persist with Younis they have to drop either of their two talented youngsters, Umar Akmal or Sohaib Maqsood.

It will be a tough decision as Younis has passed 50 just twice in his three previous World Cups.

Pakistan lost both their warm-up games before their recent New Zealand series and then were defeated in both one-day internationals against the Black Caps.

They found themselves a bowler short after spinning all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez was unable to bowl due to a suspension for an illegal action last year.

"It's difficult to find the right combination. We will sit down in the next three days and see. Still, there are three more days to go before the big one," said Waqar.

The big one, of course, is Sunday's sell-out World Cup blockbuster against India in Adelaide.

"India has always been a tough opponent, we are not going to take it easy. We will wake up that morning in a positive frame of mind and try to give our best."

Pakistan go into the game having lost all five of their World Cup clashes against their neighbours at the World Cup.

But Waqar said wins in the World Cup warm-up games over Bangladesh and England this week will give his team much-needed momentum, without reading too much into it.

"Look, these are just warm-up games and one must not draw conclusions from here. But we must take positives, they have given us the right kind of momentum."

Waqar described the World Cup as an "open" competition.

"You can judge this World Cup to be very open, some teams are in good form, some are getting into the groove. So, it can be anybody's cup," said the Pakistan coach.

"Cricket is such a game. What happened in 1992 (Pakistan winning the World Cup) can happen again. That's the beauty of cricket."

Read more on:    pakistan  |  cwc 2015  |  waqar younis  |  younis khan  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Match Result

Australia won their fifth Cricket World Cup over the weekend. Does it leave a bitter taste in your mouth that the Proteas didn't get to play them?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.