‘We really want to turn things around’, says Dav Whatmore

Image courtesy of: The Hindu

Whatmore wants the batsmen to step up and take charge

Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore has promised his side will show more heart and fight during their tour of the Caribbean after they failed to win a single game in the recently concluded Champions Trophy.

During the Champions Trophy, Pakistan were unable to post a score over 200 and they failed to bat out their allotted 50 overs in any of the games either.

“We have to do better,” Whatmore said. “The result in England was very painful for everyone and we all understand that we didn’t do our best, now we really want to turn things around. We are focused and looking forward to what we have next and want to do much better. I can’t guarantee a win but what I can guarantee is that we will fight very hard to win.”

Whatmore also took the chance to explain Umar Akmal’s new role in the squad.

Up till now, Akmal has been included as a batsman, but during the tour of the West Indies, he will also don the gloves after his older brother, Kamran, was dropped from the team.

“Everybody had an opinion that to pick a side that can explore opportunities, we would need a wicketkeeper who is also a full-time batsman,” Whatmore said. “We will be working with Umar to ensure he gets as much practice as he can to become a player who can fulfill both roles. We have seen this with South Africa, this is also what Rahul Dravid did for India years ago. So we need to understand what we are trying to achieve with this and we have to be patient after giving him a chance.”

Pakistan last toured the Caribbean in 2011 and faced a struggling West Indies side, who did not have Chris Gayle or Kieron Pollard.

During that series, Pakistan managed to keep the two-Test series to a 1-1 draw, however, they won the five-match ODI series 3-2, but lost the one-off Twenty20 International by seven runs.

However, Whatmore noted that not only do the West Indies have Gayle and Pollard this time round, but they also have plenty of other younger talents who are relishing the opportunity to show what they can do on the big stage.

“They have steadily improved since 2011 and they have a good set of one-day players,” Whatmore said. “We are aware about our limitations and theirs as well, and we have to really fight this out. Despite being a good side, we have seen evidence of their team losing a lot of wickets. We need to put pressure on them with our bowling.”

Whatmore added that the onus would be on the batsmen once again as the Pakistan batting line-up has failed to do its job over the past couple of series.

“To win a 50-over game, obviously you need both departments clicking,” he said. “You might not need to take all 10 wickets to win a match but the more wickets you take, the better your chance of restricting the run rate. Obviously, we need to make more runs against them and batting, along with good fielding, is very important to make a difference.”

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