LAHORE   -   Pacer Wahab Riaz has vowed to live up to the expectations by showcasing his talent during the World Cup 2019 by bringing the aggression and fire in his bowling.

“Definitely, it will be a challenging event and I am lucky to get a last-minute call to be a part of the team and it is an honour to represent the country in a World Cup,” Wahab said this while addressing a press conference here at Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday.

Wahab, who was not part of the national team during the past two years, was a surprise inclusion in the side along with Mohammad Amir and Asif Ali, replacing Faheem Ashraf, Junaid Khan and Abid Ali. “Although I was not in the initial 23 member Pakistan squad announced for the World Cup, even then I had a strong conviction that I will play this World Cup and a few days before my call, I had a dream that I have been called and the next day chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq rang me and informed that I will be playing,” he said.

“My late father had a strong conviction that I will be playing the World Cup 2019 and in the circumstances when I was not part of the team for a couple of days, I did not get disappointed and continued my hard work to remain in fitness and form,” he added.

Wahab said during the past two years, he endeavoured to lift the level of his game to bring more maturity in his bowling and overall game and now the stage has come to demonstrate what he had learnt during these years to play his due role in enhancing the team’s performance during the World Cup.

Defending Pakistan team’s performance in the recent one-day series which it lost to England 4-0, Wahab said: “Never before such a consistency was seen in Pakistan batting and the batsmen scored over 300 runs in all the four matches, which is a clear indicator that batsmen are batting with necessary application and mindset.

“We have to look into positive aspect of this series for us. Our batting clicked from top to bottom, our bowlers bowled well but not that good, and the main area, where we lacked, was the fielding and there is a room to improve in it as with patchy fielding, we cannot brighten our chances for success,” the pacer said.

To a query, he said that he does not have much one-day matches experience on English soil but has ample playing experience in the Test matches there. “I will be utilizing my experience and the ability of reserve swing to contribute in team’s performance. The team, which has the ability to reverse swing the ball, definitely has the edge over opponents,” he added.

Replying to another query, Wahab said: “Not being a part of the team during the past two years left him in frustration and he felt upset but didn’t give up hard work and regular training, which eventually helped me perform in the national domestic tournaments and finally brought me back in the World Cup.

“If we bowl with good line and length in the last overs of a match and try to get wickets to curtail runs, it will be beneficial for our team. I have my own set target as far as my performance is concerned in the World Cup and I will try my best to deliver for my team and help it score crucial victories,” he added.

Wahab said Pakistan team needs to exhibit a better brand of cricket in the World Cup and every player has an assigned job to justify his place in the team and every match of the mega event is challenging and all the teams are equally good and tough. “Considering any opponent weaker will not be fair. We have to demonstrate our best ability in every match and team efforts and hunger to victory are the key to success in the mega event,” he asserted.

He said a lot is expected from Pakistan team in the World Cup and such an expectation puts extra pressure on the team and players, so the team needs to show aggression to outplay its rivals. “I have yet to prove to team’s coach Mickey Arthur that I am a match-winning bowler. For achieving this task, I will be doing my best to prove this in the World Cup that what said (criticism) was not true about me,” Wahab concluded.