LAHORE - Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis Saturday said he was happy his team was not among the favourites to win World Cup, saying the tag often put unnecessary pressure on players. Pakistan completed a short training camp for February-March World Cup, to be held in Australia and New Zealand, Friday.

Pakistan will play two one-day internationals against New Zealand on January 31 and February 3, before starting their World Cup campaign against arch-rivals India in Adelaide on February 15.  "I am happy that we are not favorites," Waqar said in Lahore. "To be very honest it's big pressure of being favorites. We were not favorites last time (in 2011) too but we played excellent cricket. Similarly this time, there are teams which play on those bouncy wickets like Australia and South Africa, and are probably bigger favourites than us. But we hope that with the type of resources we have we can do well."

"We were not the favourites last time either but we played excellent cricket and reached the semi-finals," said Waqar, who was head coach in Pakistan's 2011 World Cup finish, losing to India in the semis. Waqar said four-time champions Australia and South Africa would stand a better chance.  "Of course, teams which play on those bouncy wickets like Australia and South Africa are probably more the favourites than us. But... I have lots of hopes," he said.

As preparation for the World Cup, Pakistan had a five-day camp in Lahore which will be followed by two ODIs against New Zealand in Wellington and Napier. During the camp, batsmen were seen playing on marble slabs to counter short balls though the sessions remained brief. Pakistan recently had a lengthy outing in the UAE and avoided going into an extensive conditioning camp. Waqar said Pakistan have "sufficient" cricket at World Cup venues to adapt to the conditions.

"As far as the camp is concerned, we had been playing cricket for the last three months, the camp was just for bonding, to recollect things for four-five days. Of course conditions were quite different from where we are going, here it was quite cold, but we are going to New Zealand first, and we have two weeks to get used to the conditions there.”

Leading off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, Pakistan's leading wicket-taker in recent years, will be missing because of suspension due to his suspect bowling action. "Not having Saeed Ajmal is a big blow while some of our bowlers have faced fitness issues in the run up to the World Cup," Waqar said. "It affected our preparations but no team should write us off."

Waqar admitted Pakistan had suffered injury problems which had unsettled them. Frontline paceman Junaid Khan injured his leg during practice on Thursday but an MRI revealed he will be fit within a week. "We had problems with our fast bowlers for few months and, of course, the recent episode with Junaid -- it's a setback. If you have injuries you can't move forward."

"I don't want to name favorites and put my team under pressure. All the bowlers will have to share the workload until the World Cup and probably to get the best combination it's the best thing to do. We have high hopes from Irfan, Wahab (Riaz) and Junaid. They are all experienced bowlers. All they need is to stay fit and fresh."

Waqar, ruled out of the World Cup which Pakistan won in Australia and New Zealand in 1992 due to injury, admitted the mega event was never good for him. He was also captain of the team which crashed out in the first round in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. "The World Cup has never been that kind to me, there's no doubt about that," he said.

Waqar said he has hopes for strong play from captain Misbah-ul Haq, an all-rounder who will retire after the World Cup. "Of course Afridi is number one, we have big hopes for him and Misbah, they are going out after the World Cup. In the camp over the last four to five days I have seen both want to finish on a high, which is a very good sign," he said.