Don't panic, Imran tells Pakistan

"If they panic and get nervous the World Cup campaign will go to pieces that is what I fear. I also think our people must keep faith with the team the tournament is still not over for them," he said.

The cricketer-turned-politician said Pakistani teams have a history of self-destructing after big defeats.

"That is what I fear, the body language of the players was not good yesterday. It is time for the management to now rethink their strategy and combinations which have not been right so far in the competition," he said.

The former captain, since the start of the tournament, has criticised the insistence on shoring up the batting down to number eight and playing with just three specialist bowlers.

Imran had warned that the moment Pakistan came up against a strong opposition or had a bad day their bowling would be badly exposed.

"What I had feared happened against New Zealand but it is still not too late. The pressure is on them now but the management is experienced and they must now learn from the defeat and define new combinations and roles for the players," Imran said.

Pakistan was defeated by 110 runs in a group A match on Tuesday after leading the pool with Ross Taylor tearing the bowling into shreds with a monumental 131 not out after being dropped twice by wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal.

Imran also advised the management and people to keep faith with Kamran. We have no other choice right now in the World Cup. It would be a dangerous move to try out part time keepers in such a big event. I say encourage Kamran tell him to work hard on his weaknesses and hope he can improve his keeping. But playing him in the past despite his poor track record has been a flawed policy of the selectors," Imran added.

He said the management must now also try out a new opening combination. I would say open with Kamran and this new guy, Asad Shafiq get in Younis (Khan) and Misbah-ul-Haq at the number three and four positions followed by Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi. It is no use playing Razzaq at number eight. He is being wasted," he said.

Imran also advised captain Shahid Afridi and his players to learn from the defeat and move on.

"No need to sulk on it because champion teams are those who learn from their mistakes. The quarter finals are still far off and we have time to settle upon a winning combination. We have never been a good fielding side so no use crying over it," he said.


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