Former Pakistan captain and legend Waqar Younus on Thursday applied for the post of bowling coach of the Pakistan national team.
It came as a bit of a surprise to many. This was because Waqar had been ousted as Pakistan’s head coach after a poor World T20 campaign in India. Waqar followed his ouster with an outburst at the then Pakistan cricket board chairman Najam Sethi. Waqar also heavily criticized the cricket system of Pakistan, in particular the first class system. Waqar sent a post World T20 report to the Pakistan cricket board and in his report his recommended that fitness should be given top priority and any player failing to comply with the minimum fitness standards set by the Pakistan cricket board should not be allowed to play for Pakistan. He also suggested that Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal be sent to domestic cricket for about 2 years without allowing them to represent Pakistan. This way he felt they would be able to improve their respective games.
Now Waqar Younus applying for the post of Pakistan bowling coach is an interesting move. Since Misbah-Ul-Haq is being tipped to replace Mickey Arthur as Pakistan head coach, it would be interesting to see how Waqar works under Misbah if both of them get the opportunity to work in their respective roles. But can Waqar Younus be a good choice as Pakistan bowling coach? In my opinion,yes. Waqar Younus had two tenures as head coach with the Pakistan cricket board. One from 2010 to 2011. The other from 2014 to 2016. in both those tenures, Pakistan’s bowling was a spectacle to watch. The fast bowlers in particular, performed brilliantly when Waqar was head coach. Muhammad Amir, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz all were outstanding during his tenure. In fact even the spinners did an outstanding job. Hence, the bowling in general was very good and we saw Pakistan bowl oppositions out cheaply and also defend low scores. Either side of Waqar’s tenure, Pakistan’s pace bowling was found wanting particularly in One day international cricket.
So Pakistan certainly have a good choice in Waqar Younus to lead the bowling brigade in particular the fast bowlers. Youngsters like Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Muhammad Hasnain and Mir Hamza are going to really profit form their experiences of working with Waqar. Muhammad Amir, who spent so much of his career with Waqar Younus in the Pakistan cricket setup will also cherish another stint with Waqar. Amir would thus also have the opportunity to get his consistent wicket taking form back.