DUBAI: Pakistan cricket team head coach Waqar Younis urged his team to learn to live without the suspended spinner, Saeed Ajmal, in their series against Australia series. This series will start with a one-off Twenty20 in Dubai on Sunday(tomorrow).
For Pakistan, the biggest challenge will not be their world class opponents alone but also to fill the huge void left by Ajmal who has been a match-winner for the team for the last five years. But Waqar urged his team to stay positive in general and his bowlers to step up and fill in for Ajmal in particular.
"Ajmal has been a world beater for the last seven years and he has been at the top of his game and guided Pakistan to many victories. Unfortunately, he is not in this series so we have to live with it and we have to find some new boys and make sure the youngsters deliver now," Waqar said at a press conference.
Pakistan will look to left-arm spinner Raza Hasan to supplement the attack, which also has leg-spinner Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez.
Waqar hoped these bowlers will step up and deliver.
"In a way, Ajmal's absence is an opportunity for young players like Hasan or some other spinners we might bring into the Test squad. It is an opportunity for some other players and it is also the responsibility of some of the senior bowlers who are in the squad to step up and perform," said Waqar.
Waqar admitted without Ajmal things will be different.
"In the past we have dominated with our spinners but with Ajmal gone, things are different now. We have to really think hard as a bunch and not as one individual like Ajmal winning us games," said the head coach.
Waqar stressed Pakistan needed to stay positive.
"What should we do since he (Ajmal) is not there? Are we going to start losing games? No, I think that is very negative and we need to think positive and make sure that our pacers deliver also and also our young spinners should all deliver.
"Team work need to be put in when you talk about the bowling and batting line-up. We have got quite a few fast bowlers in the squad as we have the 2015 World Cup in our mind," said Waqar.
The head coach said the team has to learn from the mistakes committed in Sri Lanka, where Pakistan lost both Tests and ODIs.
"Of course you learn from your last series. We made mistakes in the last one and it was definitely a learning curve for us because it was a new management and coaching staff. We have learned a lot from that and hopefully will not make those mistakes in the last series. It is a tough game.
"Now this is our own backyard and so we have to really play positively and feel good about it that we have done well here in the UAE in the past. Hopefully, we will deliver this time."
Pakistan team will play two practice games in Sharjah, leading them to Sunday's Twenty20 match.
"We are playing two games here today and tomorrow. We did not have much time to prepare for the one-dayers and we had our Twenty20 domestic tour and CLT20. Even if you look around, the Australians also did not get much opportunity to play much one-dayers. We are trying to make sure all our players are in good nick."
Waqar said Pakistan will have to be at their best to beat a tough Australian team.
"Australians are very tough. I live in Australia and I know they are very tough people and they will come hard regardless of what sources they have got. They always do that and we are really prepared for it. We have to make sure that whatever we have got, we exploit it properly and make the most of it."
Saturday will see both the Twenty20 captains -- Shahid Afridi of Pakistan and Aaron Finch of Australia -- unveil the trophy at stake on Sunday.