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Whatmore named new Pakistan coach

The Pakistan Cricket Board appointed Australian Dav Whatmore as the new coach of the national team on a two-year contract on Sunday.
AP | By HT Correspondent, Islamabad
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2012 02:22 AM IST

The Pakistan Cricket Board appointed Australian Dav Whatmore as the new coach of the national team on a two-year contract on Sunday.

His first test will be the four-nation Asia Cup, starting March 11 in Bangladesh that also includes defending champion India and Sri Lanka.

"They are top teams, they are very tough to beat," Whatmore said. "Pakistan's pretty good too and everyone starts the game on a level playing field, so it's important that we are able to focus on what we are capable of doing.

"Forget the opposition, respect them but we are focussing on what we can do, we can't make the opposition do anything different."

Pakistan has been looking for a new full time coach since Waqar Younis quit in October, due to personal reasons.

Under interim coach Mohsin Khan, Pakistan won test series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh before whitewashing top-ranked England in the three-test series in the United Arab Emirates.

Englishman Julian Fountain was also appointed as fielding coach in place of Ijaz Ahmed. However, Pakistan will be going to Bangladesh without a bowling coach after Aqib Javed resigned last week and joined the UAE national team.

"Naturally the time was too short to look for a real good one (bowling coach)," said Intikhab Alam, chairman of the committee responsible for hiring coaches. "We are not going to hurry up and we are going to advertise for this post of bowling coach."

Whatmore has the experience of coaching two subcontinent teams — Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. He was the coach when Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 1996 at Lahore. The highlight of his coaching tenure with Bangladesh came at the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies when Bangladesh pipped India out of a place in the Super Eight by beating them.

Despite winning the test series convincingly against top-ranked England, Pakistan was blanked 4-0 in the ODI series and lost the Twenty20 series 2-1 against the same opponent last month.

Pakistan batsmen struggled to chase runs in most of the shorter-format games but Whatmore hoped that the team had learned its lesson.

"Batting in the recent series could have been better, no question, the team understands that and the team knows that," he said.

"I don't want to look back, I'm looking forward to ensure that they are in the best frame of mind .... to be able to show you and everyone else that the team can bat properly and we can defend a total or we can chase a total."

The new coach hinted that Pakistan could pick up specialists for all the three formats of the game — tests, ODIs and Twenty20s.

"There are certain players who are more happier and more in tune to different types of the game," he said.

"(It's like) we try to fit a square peg in a square hole, so there will be a necessity to modify the team, given the different forms of the game that you are playing."

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