Karachi, Feb 14 (PTI) It''s not just skipper ShahidAfridi, coach Waqar Younis also has his hopes pinned on speedmerchant Shoaib Akhtar to deliver the goods for Pakistan inthe upcoming World Cup.
Reacting to remarks made by former captain Imran Khanthat the hot and humid weather in Sri Lanka would be a bigtest for Akhtar and that he would need energy injections,Waqar said the pacer was working hard on his fitness.
"I don''t think he needs any injections now. Because he isworking very hard and is keen to do well in this World Cup,"Waqar told reporters in Mirpur, Bangladesh while referring toImran''s remarks.
"Our entire focus is on the World Cup and we have comehere to win. Everyone knows what is expected of him and it isa matter of the team clicking at the right time," Waqar said.
The former captain said that there would be no compromiseon fitness and this would be the most important aspect for allparticipating teams.
"We are going to take no chances and the players havebeen told to work hard on their fitness. As for Shoaib he canplay an important role for us in this World Cup as he isbowling at good pace," he said.
Pakistan play their first warm-up match againstBangladesh tomorrow and the coach said they were not takingtheir opponents lightly.
"Bangladesh cannot be underestimated at all. They havebecome a dangerous side in their own conditions and we willtreat this match very seriously. I think Bangladesh cannot betaken lightly by any team in this World Cup. They have a goodexperienced side now," Waqar said.
He also said that the Pakistan team management hadrequested to play 12 players in the warm-up match, and it waswaiting for approval.
Meanwhile, Akhtar made no bones of the fact that theWorld Cup was going to be lot of hard work for bowlers.
"The weather and the pitches in India, Sri Lanka andBangladesh are not easy and slow and pace bowlers will have towork really hard. I think dependence on reverse swing will bea big help on these sort of pitches," he said.
The fast bowler, who has been a regular member of thenational one-day and T20 sides since last year, said thatBangladesh have the capacity to reach the semifinals.
"We are going to take our warm-up match against them veryseriously and give our 100 per cent. They are not a side thatcan be taken lightly. It will be hard work against theirbatsmen," he said.