Waqar wants to end ODI series on a high

Karachi: The Pakistan coach Waqar Younis, is keen to end the one-day series against New Zealand on a winning note after his team wrapped up the series on Thursday in Hamilton.

Waqar told Pakistani reporters in Hamilton that the series win was a great boost for the team ahead of the World Cup and the side had developed into a confident fighting unit under the captaincy of Shahid Afridi.

Waqar comment`s came after Pakistan manager, Intikhab Alam told reporters in Hamilton that the captaincy debate was over and the flamboyant all-rounder would be leading the team in the World Cup.

"Yes Afridi will lead the team in the World Cup but the Pakistan Cricket Board will make an official announcement on Friday," he said.

Waqar said that Afridi had done well to blend out a good one-day combination for the World Cup.

"The biggest plus point is that our fielding has finally shown signs of improvement and we took some great catches and executed run-outs in the series," Waqar said.

But the former Pakistan captain cautioned his players to remember that the pressure would be greater in the World Cup and the opposition would also be tougher.

"Right now, I have told the players to just focus on the last one-day match because we must end this series with a win and a 4-1 margin."

"Waqar said he was upbeat about the World Cup because the bench strength of the Pakistan team was also capable of winning matches. We are not playing Saeed Ajmal since he has a
finger injury and we didn`t want to take any risks with him so close to the World Cup."

"But in the final match we might give outings to Asad Shafiq and Abdul Rehman," he added.

The former pacer also had words of praise for fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar saying that he had bowled well and was very committed to performing well.

"We have three pacers in our team capable of bowling over 90 miles per hour and that is a good sign specially the way Wahab Riaz is maturing and the way Umar Gul is carrying the responsibility of being the senior bowler in the side," he said.

Many of Pakistan`s former test players have cautioned the national team to be well prepared mentally for a tough World Cup and not to read too much into the triumph in New Zealand although it was Pakistan`s first ODI series win after 2008.

"It is a good thing that we have the series but we must not forget New Zealand is not among the strongest sides of the world....”

"But what has impressed me is that the youngsters like Ahmed Shehzad and Wahab Riaz have come forward and put up their hands to perform well which augurs well for the World Cup," former captain, Zaheer Abbas said.