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13th-Feb-2015

Waqar hopes struggling Younis Khan comes good

By AFP, Sydney

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis on Thursday backed senior batsman Younis Khan to return to form in the World Cup despite a worrying slump.
The 37-year-old has managed just 1, 7, 9, 11, 25 and 19 in the six matches Pakistan have played since arriving in New Zealand last month.
Younis was not in the selectors' planning for the World Cup but the veteran hit a hundred in the 3-2 defeat against New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates in November last year and forced his way into the 15-man squad.
"I think the pitches in Australia and New Zealand are challenging and initially batsmen struggle here but he is a senior batsman. We need him to get into the right kind of form soon. I am confident that he will come into that soon," said Waqar.
If Pakistan persist with Younis they have to drop either of their two talented youngsters, Umar Akmal or Sohaib Maqsood. It will be a tough decision as Younis has passed 50 just twice in his three previous World Cups.
Pakistan lost both their warm-up games before their recent New Zealand series and then were defeated in both one-day internationals against the Black Caps.
They found themselves a bowler short after spinning all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez was unable to bowl due to a suspension for an illegal action last year.
"It's difficult to find the right combination. We will sit down in the next three days and see. Still, there are three more days to go before the big one," said Waqar. The big one, of course, is Sunday's sell-out World Cup blockbuster against India in Adelaide.
"India has always been a tough opponent, we are not going to take it easy. We will wake up that morning in a positive frame of mind and try to give our best."