St Lucia: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis says there is a change in the attitude of his players, who have understood the value of professionalism and are eager to do well in the Twenty20 World Cup.
Pakistan will begin the defence of their title against Bangladesh tomorrow and will take on Australia on Sunday in their group A matches.
Younis, who took over as full fledged coach last month, said there is sea change in players from the Australian tour where they were annihilated by the hosts in all Test, One-day and T20 matches.
“I’ve seen the change from Australia to Pakistan. The boys have really started responding. In Australia I was part of the team and the boys were a little laid back, not really bothered,” Younis, who was a bowling coach in Australia, said ahead of their tournament opener.
The doomed Australian tour resulted in banning and fines on more than half-a-dozen players, including T20 captain Shahid Afridi.
On being asked if PCB’s disciplinary action has resulted in players being cautiuos, Younis said,”I don’t know if it’s got anything to do with the banning or what, but they have really started pushing themselves.”
“I wouldn’t say they’re scared but they’ve probably started thinking it’s a professional game and they get paid for it and there’s a country’s (honour) at stake,” he added.
Younis also defended Afridi’s selection as captain for the World Cup saying, “I think he is the best choice as captain. He is an all-rounder and he leads from the front.”
“He is bowling superbly, he is a match-winning bowler. And with his quick 30-odd off 10 balls or whatever, that really puts the game in your favour.”