‘Hurt’ Australia will bounce back, warns Waqar

ABU DHABI: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis on Tuesday warned his team to be prepared for a backlash from wounded Australia in the second Test.

Pakistan thrashed Australia in the first Test by 221 runs in Dubai on Sunday. They now seek their first series win over Australia for 20 years in the second Test starting in Abu Dhabi from Thursday. But Waqar, a member of the team which last beat Australia in Pakistan in 1994, warned Australia will hit back.

“We have won the first Test but it’s a long way to go, the second Test will be tough,” Waqar told reporters. “We all know that Australia are very positive about their cricket and they feel hurt, they will bounce back, I am sure, and we have to be prepared for that.”

Pakistan have an extra incentive to win the second Test as besides the elusive series win they would also jump to number three in Test rankings. Waqar admitted being number three is big but for him consistency is more important.

“To come into [the] top three is a big thing,” said Waqar, with Pakistan placed sixth before the series. “But besides coming into the top three, consistency is more important for me because we have always been unpredictable, some times up and then down, so we need to give consistent performances.

“It’s necessary that if we give a good performance then we must have a follow through so that people have confidence in us as a side, which we have proved in the first Test that we have got the talent and the potential. So if we apply ourselves then results will come,” said Waqar.

“The message is simple: don’t give up, the series is not finished, there is a second Test and we have to win the second Test and have to work hard consistently every day to win the series.”

Waqar praised left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar as a “special talent”. “He has been performing well in the domestic season and never got the chance, but the guy he has replaced [Abdul Rehman] was doing well … Now Babar got the opportunity and he is serious quality, something which the world was missing, I believe.”

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