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Dropping Steve big mistake, says Imran

Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan said Tuesday that the team best equipped to handle pressure would win the World Cup.

Imran, who captained Pakistan to their only World Cup win in 1992, said Australia had made a mistake by dropping Test captain Steve Waugh from the squad as he was a proven performer under pressure.

“For me it was a big mistake to drop Steve. Australia might still win but World Cup is all about taking pressure and Steve was good at it,” Imran said.

Steve was the captain when Australia won the World Cup in England in 1999.

Imran added that Australia were the favourites to retain the trophy under new skipper Ricky Ponting.

“Australia is top favourite and South Africa will be tough on home conditions. England have come back well in Australia while New Zealand have fighting capability and a good combination.”

He felt Pakistan are lacking in self-belief and the ability to fight their way out of trouble.

“There was a lack of fighting spirit in Pakistan’s approach in South Africa last month but I hope that with one win they can regroup.”

Pakistan lost both Test matches and were defeated 4-1 in the one-day series against Shaun Pollock’s team.

Imran said the form of veteran allrounder Wasim Akram, opener Saeed Anwar and speedster Shoaib Akhtar were vital for Pakistan to harbour hopes of success.

“They have the firepower and should go in with an attacking mind set.” He also said that Inzamam-ul-Haq should bat at No. 3 to strengthen the early batting order.

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