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Karachi: Pakistan’s head coach Waqar Younis is confident that his new-look team would be able to break the jinx of not winning against India in major ICC events when they lock horns in the upcoming World Twenty20, which begins right after the Asia Cup T20. (Ahmed Shehzad Dropped From Pakistan Squad For 2016 ICC World Twenty20)
Pakistan play India, first on February 27 at the Asia Cup in Dhaka, and on March 19 in Dharamsala at the World T20. They could also clash in the knockout stages of the two tournaments. (ICC World Twenty20 cricket: India to Clash vs Pakistan in Dharamsala on March 19)
“Yes, it is at the back of the mind that we don’t seem to do well against India in these big events, especially the ICC World Cups. We have a young team and in familiar conditions they can upset any team if they play consistently well,” Waqar said. (Pakistan Cricket Team Will be Provided Full Security in World Twenty20, Says Anurag Thakur)
The former fast bowler, who is yet to go to Dubai to watch the Pakistan Super League matches, said India would pose a serious challenge to Pakistan in the coming events because they had a settled T20 squad.
“It will depend on the pitches we encounter in these two events but India is a well-balanced side and I am preparing the players for tough matches,” he said.
Waqar was coach when India beat Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup semifinals in Mohali and then again in the 2015 World Cup opener in Australia.
Pakistan have never beaten India in a World Cup match. “As a player and coach the ambition is there to end this jinx but, in T20 format, it is all about confidence and how you read the pitch and how you play on that particular day,” he added.
He admitted that a string of poor performances in ODIs and T20s against England and recently in New Zealand was not good for the morale of the side.
“The selectors have made some changes and while I was consulted as always the final decision is theirs. We have a young team and I would like to see more consistency from them,” Waqar said.
He said the experience of playing in two major events before big crowds would help in the development of the younger players.
Pakistan dropped three of their regular batsmen in Ahmed Shehzad, Muhammad Rizwan and Sohaib Maqsood and also experienced pacer Umar Gul for the two events.
Five players in the squad – Khurrum Manzoor, Babar Azam, Ifthikar Ahmed, Rumman Raees and Muhammad Nawaz are yet to represent Pakistan in T20 internationals.
Waqar said India had the advantage of playing at home in the World T20. “But whenever the two teams play against each other it always boils down to the pressures and how players react on the day to the expectations from them,” Waqar said.