ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Like skipper Shahid Afridi, Head Coach Waqar Younis also does not rule out changes in the Pakistan T20 squad after the Asia Cup, just before the start of World Twenty20 in India.
Pakistan have already named a 15-member squad, picking five uncapped players, for the two back-to-back events in Bangladesh and India, starting from February 24 and March 3 respectively.
Afridi said in his comments on a website that performance of selected squad will be closely monitored in the Asia Cup and changes might be made, if necessary, before global event in India. Performances in the ongoing PSL would also be taken into account, he said.
Talking to a private news channel, Waqar Younis bowler brushed aside notions that ego problems had led to the sacking of opening batsman Ahmed Shahzad. “He was simply not making runs (of late)”.
When reminded that the Pakistani selectors could make changes in the World Cup squad until March 8, Waqar said there could be changes.
“Changes could be there but right now we have to see how the team performs in the Asia Cup. The selectors have done their job and we will have to see how the new players perform”.
The Head Coach said PSL would help bridge the gap between international and domestic cricket as it was a good platform for “our young players to get exposure and get ready for international cricket”.
The former Pakistan captain was quite candid about Pakistan’s chances in the two forthcoming events, pointing out that the team would have to work very hard to do well.
Replying to a question Pakistan coach said that three to four months of his contract were left and “right now I haven’t given a thought to the future”, stressing that he was focusing on preparations for the Asia Cup and World T20 events.
“Coaching of any team is always a tough job. It doesn’t matter whether you do well or disappoint, adding “I knew about this when I accepted this challenge. I enjoy taking up tough challenges.”
Replying to the questions about Ahmed Shehzad, the Head Coach said, “Shehzad had been struggling for runs and consistency for a while and it is not a question of likes or dislikes or egos. He has not been consistent and he now has to go back to domestic cricket and get back into form.
“He is a talented player and can definitely make a comeback to the Pakistan team,” he said.