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Waqar promises Pakistan will get ‘better and better’

COLOMBO: Waqar Younis, the Pakistan coach, believes that things will get better for his struggling batsmen when they go to Bangladesh or India for the knock-out stage of the World Cup.

The former Pakistan captain told reporters here at the R Premadasa Stadium after his team’s four-wicket win against defending champions Australia, that conditions would be easier for the batters out of Sri Lanka.

“Batting has been tough during most (World Cup) games here in Sri Lanka as compared to matches in other countries,” he said referring to the other two co-hosts of the World Cup — India and Bangladesh.

“Things will be easier for the batsmen when we go and play on venues where pitches are easier.”

Pakistan went through a few hiccups before chasing 177 to win their big World Cup game against Australia and Waqar believes that the result has put his team on the right course ahead of next week’s quarterfinals.

“It’s a big achievement beating Australia, who have been on a big winning streak in World Cups,” said the legendary pacer. “It wasn’t an easy wicket but I thought 177 were gettable.”

He praised Pakistan for their team effort. “The credit must go to the entire team because we played superbly.”

Waqar was pleased with the fact that his team displayed much-improved fielding and stressed that Pakistan will get better and better.

“Today we were much better in the field. We took our catches. I’m confident that it will get better and better as the big games are right ahead of us.”

He heaped praise on young batters Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal.

“Asad Shafiq is maturing fast,” he said. “He is a steady player. He is not a big hitter but can score runs and can pick up boundaries.”