The Pakistan coach was not impressed with his team's loss against India, and said it would have to improve quickly
Dav Whatmore clearly believes in wearing his heart on his sleeve, and it wasn’t difficult to make out that he was singularly unimpressed by Pakistan’s ordinary showing against India in the ICC World Twenty20 2012 on Sunday (September 30) night.
Pakistan must defeat Australia on Tuesday afternoon to stay in the hunt for a semi-final slot from Group 2 of the Super Eights, and Whatmore, Pakistan’s coach for a few months now, minced no words when he said, “If we play like this again, then we are not going to go very far in this tournament, that’s for sure. There are a number of areas that we are going to improve in, yes.”
It was that kind of a press conference – short, crisp replies, long answers as rare as hen’s teeth. There was scarcely disguised disappointment, indeed the occasional flash of annoyance, but there was also some humour as Whatmore was asked what he could do as coach to prevent Shane Watson from continuing to pile on the runs.
“Poison his food?” Whatmore replied, straight-faced but tongue firmly in his cheek. “He is very good, he is in good nick. But he is a human being, he can also play a bad shot and get out.”
Australia has been in outstanding form, crushing all before it, but Whatmore said Pakistan could take heart from its recent performances against Australia in the UAE.
“We had some reasonable performances against Australia just recently,” he said. “But they have played very well in the last three weeks or so, in their warm-up games and in this tournament so far. We are used to playing them because we have done okay against them recently. It will be a good test, they are a good side.”
Pakistan must not just win, but win by a reasonable margin against Australia so that it still has its nose in front should net run-rate come into play to decide qualification matters. “It’s not easy to balance the need between having to win, and having to win well,” Whatmore conceded. “Any one of three teams can actually still make it to the semi-finals. It’s fantastic for them (the organisers) and for the spectators, but not for us. But yes, it won’t be easy to balance the two.”
The turnover time between matches, Whatmore insisted, was actually not a bad thing from Pakistan’s perspective. Pakistan finished its game against India at 10.30 pm on Sunday, and will be out facing Australia at 3.30 pm on Tuesday. “Sometimes, it’s better to get back on the horse that bucks you off quickly,” he said. “We’ve only got a day, so that’s a good thing for us.”