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Pakistan must stick with young batsmen, says Waqar

cricket Updated: Aug 01, 2010 14:34 IST
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Pakistan coach Waqar Younis on Saturday gave his support to his young team even though another batting collapse is likely to lead to a heavy defeat against England in the first test at Trent Bridge.

The Pakistanis were set a world record run chase of 435 by England but at stumps on the third day they had slumped to 15 for three.

This latest batting struggle follows a tough series against Australia where their young batsmen found life difficult, though the team managed a gritty 1-1 series draw.

With their best and most experienced current batsmen out of the side in Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan, questions continue to be asked as to why they are not playing in England.

"One is retired (Yousuf), you can't bring someone back who is retired, and the other (Younis) has serious issues with the cricket board," Waqar told reporters.

"What I have seen over the last two or three months is a big improvement (in the team). I want to make a good unit out of them. It might take a few more losses first though."

Yousuf and Younis were each given indefinite bans by the Pakistan Cricket Board before the tour for their part in alleged in-fighting in the team.

Younis, the fifth-highest scoring Pakistan batsman in test history, had his ban overturned on appeal and made himself available for the England tour, even playing for English county team Surrey to prepare himself first. He was ignored.

Yousuf, Pakistan's third-highest scoring test batsman, did not challenge his ban but has since commented that he would be prepared to play again, under any captain.

When prompted on why Pakistan continue to select rookies like Azhar Ali (aged 25), Umar Amin (20) and Umar Akmal (20), Waqar again supported his youngsters.

"It's all we have got (here)," he said. "We have to carry on with them. England have bowled superbly. (James) Anderson at one stage was unplayable. The bowling was too good."