LAHORE - Pakistan’s newly-appointed head coach Dav Whatmore has said that he wanted to be signed by the Pakistan cricket Board (PCB) a bit earlier. Talking to a Gulf-based newspaper, Whatmore said that he was confident in his own abilities as compared to the previous foreign coaches.

Whatmore who has now coached three of the subcontinent's four countries and has worked in various coaching capacities in India, said that coaching a full time ICC member team was itself a big attraction.

“There's only 10 full member countries playing, isn't there? It's still an honour to be working at this level. The team, it hasn't had the best publicity over the last year or so, but the players within it still represent a challenge to get a bit of consistency, so it was a combination of these things, (and) get back into international cricket. At Kolkata Knight Riders I was doing something that kept me involved only three to four months of the year. This was right from the beginning.”

Whatmore said that though he was disappointed upon his failure to get the job in 2007 yet he thought that he was saved.

“That was a chapter that was past really. I came for interviews along with (Geoff) Lawson, and it was disappointing not to get it but in the fullness of time, in the big picture, I think I was saved. I was looked after by a higher being. I always believe things happen for reasons and I am where I am meant to be right now.”

He said that he had not set any target but he really wanted to be consistent. “I'm about winning. I don't want to be involved with teams that are not having good times. I really need to enjoy what I am doing, work hard and enjoy the performances of the boys. They work their bums off to get wickets and runs, catches, and that gives me a real big boost and then the result comes that you want and that's what I want.”

He said that his experience so far with the tem and job was very good. “It has been nothing but positive. It's a familiar experience, not all that different over the years to the different countries I have lived in. It's a very interesting chapter in my life.”

He said that he was already familiar with some senior players like Misbah-ul-Haq, Younus Khan, Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi and that had helped him to develop a health relationship with the team. “Misbah as captain has been in the opposition a little bit when I've been coach elsewhere. Younus, a little bit of Gul, Afridi for sure … I was in the opposite camp when he scored that (fastest) hundred in 1996 in Kenya. I know a few of them and they certainly know of me and others knew of me. It really didn't take long to develop a relationship, at least at the beginning, a healthy one.

About Pakistan team, Whatmore was of the opinion that only the spin bowling department was quite strong and all other departments had room for improvement. He said that everyone told him the potential was there and I agreed and he wanted to develop and breed youngsters who would be strong in their thoughts and skills.

“Good judges can see certain players within the team being able to be really consistent and pull this team along. There's been instances when the fielding's been not so good and that's caused the difference between winning and losing. Sometimes the ability to chase scores has not been so good. Spin bowling at the moment is quite strong. Pace bowling has some pace but we can get better in our length and direction. It's a combination of these things and that's the challenge, to ensure that we develop and breed a group of young men that is quite strong in their thinking and their skill.”

He praised the captaincy of Misbah and termed him a big thinker and very solid personality who did not go to extremes. He said that Misbah did not get carried away too much when you lose or win which is a very good thing, to be stable in emotions.

He agreed that Pakistan have a solid Test side but an inconsistent one in limited overs and there were many factors for this. “A number of issues. I agree that the Test team is quite settled. In the shorter formats, where do I stand? Well … you're always looking to improve. I always believe there are certain players suited more naturally to certain forms of the game. If that's the case, then I support playing those people where they are more suited to. There are proven ways of thinking in terms of formations that will give you the best chance of success. Not guaranteed success, but certainly proven ways of thinking and formulating an XI that would give you the best possible chances of winning and winning conclusively. That comes with certain players; certain players are more suited to that role.”

About Misbah’s place in the limited overs sides, he said that he could be included in the team either as captain or as only player. “That decision will remain with the selectors. But if we decide to dig a little bit deeper and have a look at his performances, it doesn't stack up too badly. But at the end of the day, and moving forward, Iqbal Qasim and the selectors will certainly need to deeply discuss all sorts of angles before making a final discussion.”

About selection matter he said that he was involved in selection for the Asia Cup team but he hadn't got a vote. “We had a review after the Asia Cup in Rawalpindi and I remain on very good terms with the selectors, here in Lahore, the chairman, Salim Jaffer, the selector from Peshawar,” he added.

About the recently-concluded Super 8s T20 tournament in Rawalpindi, which he observed very keenly, Whatmore said that It was good and interesting event. “The fielding standards went up as we went along further into the tournament. I remember saying: "Gee, I think this is getting better." That was one good thing. It would've been nice if we had the use of the white Kookaburra but it wasn't to be, they use the white Grey's which behaves a little differently. Certainly, there were some standouts in that competition and those standouts may likely look forward to higher selection.”

About very little Test cricket opportunities available this year to Pakistan he said that it might by disappointing given this was a Test side that's got some momentum. He said that he had come from outside and these things had been set aside before and his main focus was on the Sri Lankan tour. “Would've been nice to play more but that's the way it is. We have a very important Test series in Sri Lanka and they are not easy to beat even though they've lost their 800-wicket-taker. We need to be very mindful of the personnel that goes to their country and fights for every Test victory. It won't be easy but we'll be really up for it.”