Waqar tells Pakistan to focus on Test, not excuses

February 23rd, 2009 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Feb 23 (IANS) Former Pakistan Test pacer Waqar Younis advised the national cricket team management to focus on saving the first Test against Sri Lanka instead of looking for excuses for the home side’s poor showing on the first two days of the match.
Waqar, 39, told reporters that the Karachi Test is still going on and it is not a good sign that Pakistani officials are already blaming the pitch for their team’s disappointing bowling performance.

Sri Lanka amassed 644-7 before declaring its first innings after batting for almost two days without getting any worthwhile resistance from Pakistani bowlers.

At stumps on the second day, Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam blasted the local curators for preparing a lifeless pitch, saying that the team management had asked for a lively wicket for the Test.

“The criticism of the pitch could have waited until the end of this Test,” said Waqar, a former Pakistan captain. “The more important thing to do right now is to somehow save this Test,” he stressed.

Pakistan ended the third day at 296-3, still 348 runs behind Sri Lanka.

When asked to comment on the performance of debutant pacer Sohail Khan in the match, Waqar said that he was surprised that Pakistan selected him for this match.

“He (Sohail) is certainly not of Test class,” he said. “He is too raw and too inexperienced.”

Waqar, who took 373 wickets from 87 Tests and 416 ODI scalps from 262 appearances, said that Pakistan will have to come out with a better showing in the second Test to have any hopes in this two-match series.

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