Pakistan coach Waqar Younis described Mohammad Irfan as the team’s X-factor but insisted they can still defeat Australia despite the giant seamer being ruled of the tournament with a stress fracture of his pelvis.
The lanky 7 foot, one inch paceman suffered a fracture to his hip bone and was ruled out of the remaining World Cup matches, including Friday’s mouth-watering quarter-final against the four-time champions at the Adelaide Oval.
“It’s unfortunate that we lost Irfan just at the wrong time,” said Waqar today. “It’s a huge loss. He was an X factor for us but we have got to live with it.”
Waqar refused to accept that Irfan had not been rested adequately.
“This injury could have happened a long time before, so we can’t say that it happened two days ago, it’s not easy for us but we have to cope with it,” said Waqar.
“I am pleased with the performance of the fast bowlers—Wahab Riaz has taken responsibility and has been delivering and so has Rahat Ali.
“We have ben approaching the games very well in the entire tournament. We had a poor start at the beginning but we came back well.
“The bowlers know what to do and they are doing well. Look at the bigger picture, look at what happened in the recent past, losing so many bowlers and some good spinners for other reasons so it’s tough but we are handling that well.”
Pakistan’s preparations for the World Cup were badly hit when their ace spinner Saeed Ajmal was suspended due to an illegal bowling action in September last year.