‘We will play positive cricket and will play to win’, says Waqar Younis

"I think the team could get better with changes and we can match any team in international cricket"

“I think the team could get better with changes and we can match any team in international cricket”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis has announced that he will teach the national team to “play positive cricket” and “play to win” at the same time.

Younis noted that this was the same mindset he had during his first stint as head coach in 2010-11.

He also revealed that his top priority was getting Pakistan prepared for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

“I have come with a positive frame of mind, there’s no doubt about it,” Younis said. “I have come with a better plan, I think the team could get better with changes and we can match any team in international cricket. I was here two years ago and you people saw there was improvement in the team.

“I have come with a lot of passion and the mindset will be the same, we will play positive cricket and will play to win, there’s no defence involved in it. Hopefully the boys will understand what I am trying to say and I hope this passion will be there in them as well. I believe the youngsters are very talented, they will understand the spirit.”

Younis did not drop any hints about intending to make big changes to the Pakistan roster ahead of the World Cup.

“It’s the right time, when I came last time our team was in a similar situation, there are lots of youngsters and I am excited to meet them and work with them,” he said. “Ten months (sic. eight) time is a long time, we are getting cricket against Australia and New Zealand and then we have 15 days before the World Cup, there’s no reason we can’t prepare. Obviously there are short-term goals at the moment as we have plenty of cricket this year and we won’t be neglecting them.”

Pakistan will come into the World Cup with great preparation as they will face Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand.

“The target is of course the World Cup but the other series are also important,” Younis said. “I know our people are very emotional, every ball, every over, every match will be important and I hope the team will deliver and the tours will be successful to build up strongly to the World Cup.”

Younis also admitted that he is getting a little sick and tired of captain Misbah-ul-Haq being criticised all the time.

“[The] Captain remains under fire all the time, if you look at Pakistan cricket it’s been the same trend,” he said. “I know a sword keeps hanging on the captain and it should be like that, the captain has to be on his toes. But instead of series-to-series we have to think about a long-term captain, you have to think about youngsters for Test, one-day and Twenty20 because if you look there are two-three players who are on the wrong side of 30.”

During his last stint as head coach, it was no secret that Younis and veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi didn’t see eye to eye. However, Younis wants bygones to be bygones.

“With the passage of time, when one lives like a family, there are problems but a good coach is one who negates those and takes all players together,” he said. “Last time was my first time as a head coach, and now I will try to see that if there were some mistakes committed, it won’t be repeated.”

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