Pallekele: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis says wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal will not be dropped despite his shoddy work behind the stumps that “cost” the team the World Cup match against New Zealand here.
Akmal’s dropped catches allowed Ross Taylor to score a destructive 131 off 124 balls and guide New Zealand to 302 for seven which ultimately proved too big a total to chase for Pakistan as they lost by 110 runs.
“I don’t think this is the time to put the blame on someone. It’s a fact that he didn’t do the best keeping, the standard was not good and he dropped a few catches,” said Waqar.
“Those were straight sitters, it was not as if they were difficult catches, but then it’s cricket and such things do happen. It was a bad day for him as he dropped catches which really cost us the game,” he added.
Asked if Akmal could be dropped, Waqar said, “I think maybe after the World Cup, we can think about it but now we are in the middle of the tournament and I don’t think we can make such a change and panic. We should not.”
Waqar heaped praise on Taylor for playing a brilliant knock that changed the complexion of the match.
“You play just one or two innings like that in your life.”
“Without a doubt it was a huge turning point to give chance to somebody like Taylor, who’s a top player in their side. It cost us but we also bowled poorly,” said Waqar.
Waqar said despite the loss, the team remains in high spirits and is looking forward to getting back to the winning ways in the match against Zimbabwe.
“We are not going to panic, that’s the important thing. If we panic here we’re really going to struggle in this tournament. There are still big games to come. We’ve got Australia to handle and then we go to the quarter-finals,” said Waqar.
Pakistan have six points from four matches and are second in Group A behind New Zealand on net run-rate.