Waqar’s presence inspires young Pakistan cricketers
London: Pakistani captain Salman Butt believes the presence in the dressing room of former fast bowling great Waqar Younis as coach is inspiring his young players to try and replicate the country’s golden era.
Waqar combined with Wasim Akram to form a fearsome pace bowling duo that carried Pakistan to some of their most famous victories in the 1990s.
And Butt says youngsters such as Mohammad Aamer and Wahab Riaz - who claimed five wickets in the first innings of Pakistan’s win over England at the Oval on Saturday - is making the youngsters reach for the stars.
“He has had a great impact on the side having played all his cricket in the golden years of Pakistan with the two ‘Ws’ and if a side needed 20 runs and had six wickets left they would get the six wickets,” said Butt.
“People like that in the dressing room give confidence and make the youngsters believe they can become heroes.
“It is important to have the heroes of the youngsters inside the dressing room. He has done a great job so far and I hope he continues in the same way.”
Azhar Ali made 92 in the first innings as Pakistan clawed their way back to 2-1 down in the series.
But they will head to Lord’s on Thursday for the final Test with their captain claiming his band of inexperienced players can go on to become one the best sides in the world.
“This is a young, inexperienced team but they are showing their potential,” said Butt.
“Everybody has put up their hands. Kamran Akmal has taken all his catches, Mohammad Asif has taken wickets, Mohammad Amir has taken wickets and the debutant Wahab Riaz took five wickets and Azhar Ali scored 92.
“I am a very happy captain at the moment because all the guys are doing well.
“But I still think this team needs time because other sides will come out and play better cricket. They will become a fine side.”
Pakistan have played Australia in a two-Test series this summer, drawing 1-1 and have played England three times.
And Butt has no doubt who he favours to win the much-anticipated Ashes series which starts in Brisbane in November.
“The Aussies are much better players in their own conditions,” he said. “The ball doesn’t swing so much so the bowlers have to work hard. In their conditions they are better than England.”