KARACHI: Pakistan pace great and current bowling coach, Waqar Younis has termed the touring Zimbabwe squad as a “relatively weak side” and said the upcoming series will be a good platform to try out the youngsters.
Pakistan will play three ODIs and three T20 matches in Multan and Rawalpindi against Zimbabwe, which will be arriving in the country this month.
The series begins with the first one-dayer on October 30, followed by the second and third ODIs on November 1 and 3 respectively. The three T20 matches are scheduled in Rawalpindi on November 7, 8 and 10.
“I don’t want to state this but Zimbabwe compared to other teams is a relatively weak opposition and it is a good time for us to try out our young players,” Waqar told reporters in Lahore.
He said Pakistan need to focus more on T20 format and build a formidable outfit ahead of the two World T20 Cups to be held in India and Australia.
“People nowadays are not that interested in 50-over games as they are in T20 cricket matches so we also need to keep that in mind because we have two World T20 Cups plus the Asia Cup lined up in the next two years,” he said.
Head coach and chief selector, Misbah-ul-Haq, who also interacted with the media, said youngsters performing in the ongoing National T20 tournament will be considered for selection and he was looking to announce a squad of around 22 to 25 players for the home series.
“If a player performs consistently well in the ongoing National T20 Championship he will be considered for the series. Good thing is we already have some good youngsters with the team,” Misbah said.
He said the selection committee planned to announce the squad on October 19 at the conclusion of the National T20 event in Pindi.
“The Zimbabwe series would be an excellent platform for youngsters. Playing a home series and performing well is the dream of every player,” he said.
Misbah, however, made it clear he was not happy with the fitness and shape of some players in the ongoing National T20 event and every player was obligated to maintain his fitness even during the lockdown period because of Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is not possible that you are overweight 15 kilos and expect to become a part of the national team,” Misbah said on a local news channel.
“Everyone, including the likes of Sharjeel Khan, has been made aware of the policy at the time of the PSL. I have been very clear from the beginning that there can never be a compromise over fitness.”