Thatscricket - Wish your star
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2002, 1:46 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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Colombo: Australian Test captain Steve Waugh on Wednesday sounded a warning to Pakistan ahead of its three-Test series, saying his team would play to win each match.[an error occurred while processing this directive]"We like to win every Test and series. This is how we play our cricket," Waugh said after joining his team mates here for the opening Test against a young Pakistani side.Australia's One-day team, led by Ricky Ponting, has qualified for the semi-final of the ongoing Champions Trophy tournament here.Australia will play its first Test against Pakistan here on October 3 and the last two at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.Pakistan's home series to commemorate its Golden Jubilee in Test cricket was shifted to neutral venues after Australia refused to tour because of security fears.Pakistan will be without the services of its key players against the formidable Australians as veteran left-arm fast bowler Wasim Akram and opener Saeed Anwar have opted out of the series.Reliable middle-order batsmen Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhanna pulled out due to injuries, while hard-hitting opener Shahid Afridi failed to find a place in the squad.Pakistan has also sacked coach Mudassar Nazar and manager Yawar Saeed following the team's unimpressive performance in the Champions Trophy.Waqar Younis's team lost to Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the opening match and then beat the Netherlands by nine wickets in an inconsequential match to bow out of the tournament."We know some of their senior players are not playing and it will be a bit difficult for young players, but still it is important for us to play good cricket," said Waugh."I can't say it will be 3-0 because there are other factors involved, like the weather, but we'd like to win each Test. We have to make sure we play well," said Waugh, who has scored 9,600 runs in 148 Tests with 27 centuries, averaging 50.The Australian skipper said he was match-fit despite playing his last Test six months ago, against South Africa at Durban."I have been preparing for the Test series," said Waugh. "There was no cricket for six months, so I went to Kent (to play English County cricket) for five weeks. I have been looking forward to the series."Waugh said he had so far no plans of quitting international cricket after the forthcoming Ashes series against England at home. "I want to keep playing as long as I am enjoying the game and improving. I'd like to go on my terms," said Waugh, who was axed from the Australian One-day squad after playing against New Zealand at Perth in February.Waugh said he had not lost hope of staging a comeback in the national One-day team for next year's World Cup in South Africa."I am not a selector or coach. I have to work hard. I hope everything falls into place," said Waugh, who led Australia to the World Cup triumph in England in 1999.He has so far scored 7,569 runs in 325 One-day Internationals with three centuries."There is no pressure on me," he said. "Nor has it been a peculiar situation (out of One-dayers and leading the Test team) for me. It has been like this for the past six months or so. I have to give myself a chance to get picked."
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