Nottingham: Pakistan must go back to their Champions Trophy triumph for inspiration and then look for early wickets in their World Cup encounter against arch rivals India according to former captain Waqar Younis. The two sides meet Sunday at the Old Trafford.
“It’s simple – if Pakistan want to stay in the tournament, they have to bring an ‘A plus’ performance and win that game,” Waqar said in his column for the ICC. “When Pakistan play India it’s always a huge game, but their meeting Sunday is shaping up to be more crucial than ever,” added the former fast bowler.
While he did not read much into India’s all-win record against Pakistan in the World Cup, the pace great urged his country to look up to the title triumph in the 2017 Champions Trophy, where they beat India in the final.
“Pakistan have got to take positives out of what they did to India in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy a couple of years ago. They must think positively going into this game,” said Waqar. “I hope they have got their best game in the locker for India, who showed against Australia that they are a very fine side,” he added.
According to the former captain and coach, picking up early wickets could be the key to Pakistan’s chances against India. “What I have seen in this World Cup so far is that if you don’t pick up early wickets, you’re in trouble. The new ball is so crucial and openers are being more careful in the first 10 overs this year,” said Waqar. “Once you don’t lose any wickets early on, batting it becomes easier because the ball doesn’t swing.”
Regarding team combination, Waqar felt there could be changes for Sunday’s game. “It may be that Mickey Arthur looks at changing the team for Sunday. I spoke to Mickey in Taunton and he is thinking in terms of horses for courses, and I agree with him to an extent,” said Waqar.
Waqar is in favour of dropping spin-bowling all-rounder Shoaib Malik. “Shadab is the key man in this side and I think they will look to bring him back against India. They might go for five bowlers, use four pacers and Shadab and drop someone like Shoaib Malik,” Waqar stated.