Yousuf wants team to improve fielding


Karachi: An emphatic victory against New Zealand in the second cricket Test has boosted the confidence of new Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf but the senior batsman wants a massive improvement in his team’s fielding.

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Yousuf said Pakistan will have to show a marked improvement in fielding to be able to win the series decider against New Zealand beginning in Napier Friday.

Pakistan bounced back after losing the first Test in Dunedin by crushing the hosts in the second match by 141 runs in Wellington thanks to superb bowling by comeback pacer Mohammad Asif and leg spinner Danish Kaneria.

However, Pakistan’s fielding was once again disappointing as they dropped a series of catches just like they did in Dunedin.

“I am really disappointed at the way we have fielded in this series so far,” Yousuf said as his team prepared to leave for Napier for the final Test.

“We have dropped too many catches and need to improve to be able to win the series,” he stressed. Yousuf said that his boys will pay special emphasis to some catching practice ahead of the final Test.

Pakistan has not won a Test series since blanking West Indies 3-0 on home soil in 2006. Yousuf was all praise for his bowlers, saying that they helped Pakistan level the series 1-1.

“The whole team is very happy and credit must go to the players. They have worked very hard, especially the bowlers.

“I’m pleased with the way Danish Kaneria bowled on this track,” he said.

The leg spinner, who replaced Saeed Ajmal for this Test, took 3-74 and became the fourth highest Pakistan Test wicket-taker behind Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Imran Khan.

Asif, who took nine wickets in the match, said he was enjoying the New Zealand conditions. He got eight wickets in the series-opening loss in Dunedin.

“I’m enjoying my bowling. It is difficult to strike form since I am playing after a long time, but I am happy that my rhythm is coming back and hopefully I can perform better in the next game,” said the fast bowler, who spent almost two years on the sidelines because of injury and doping-related problems.

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