Pak worst prepared for World Cup but can still win: Imran

Karachi, Feb 13 (PTI) The current Pakistan cricket teamhas had the "worst" possible preparation for the World Cup butis still capable of lifting the trophy if it manages to stayunited through the mega-event, feels the country''s 1992 WorldCup winning captain Imran Khan.

"The team had the worst preparation for the World Cup butit is all a matter of some players putting up their hands andperforming consistently in the tournament and the teamclicking and gelling together after a good start and anythingcan happen," Imran said when asked about the team''s chances inthe event starting February 19.

But Imran said the team management and the captain needto be very clear about how they approach the tournament.

"My mind is clear and my planning is clear the specialistplayers can win you matches so play them at the top. The topthree or four batsmen should all be specialists and you can''thave ''pinch hitters'' coming in at the top even on thesub-continental pitches," the former captain said.

Imran feels the responsibility lies primarily withseniors such as Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq as far asbatting is concerned.

"They have to play central roles in every match. The teammanagement must focus their plans and strategy for every gamearound them. Because the World Cup is all about pressure andonce you lose quick, wickets it becomes difficult for theincoming batsmen to handle the pressure," he said.

The cricketer-turned-politician also felt that it waswrong for critics and pundits to describe captain ShahidAfridi as a batting all-rounder.

"I don''t consider him a batting all-rounder. To me he isa very energetic captain on the field a very good stock bowlerand brilliant fielder. His batting is a bonus. We should notdepend on it we should consider his captaincy, bowling andfielding as his main assets," he explained.

"He has all the batting talent in the world but he lacksmanagement while batting and that has always been hisweakness."

Imran said there were a number of players in the team whowere not doing justice to their talent.

"Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Afridi and even Abdul Razzaqare examples they have immense batting abilities but don''tmanage their innings well," he said.

Imran also felt that Afridi should never have leftplaying Test cricket last year.

"If he had decided to fight on and not left the testcaptaincy he would have been a much better captain today.

Because test cricket is the real cricket and if as a captainyou can learn to deal with the pressures of Test cricket thencaptaining in ODIs become much easier." PTI Cor PM

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