Younis confident for Sri Lanka tour

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Pakistan coach Waqar Younis conceded his side was in the midst of a building phase, but remained confident they will achieve the targets set for the tour of Sri Lanka.

The two-month tour will comprise of three Test matches, five one-day internationals and two T20s, but it is the ODIs that Pakistan will be focusing on.

"We have set targets for Tests as well as one-day series and hope that the team does well on the tour to achieve the targets and I am confident that we will qualify for the Champions Trophy," he said.

Currently ranked ninth in the world in ODI cricket, Pakistan need to beat Sri Lanka to break back into the top eight, which is the minimum requirement to qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England.

The final cutoff for qualification is the end of September, so losing to their hosts will not be the end of their hopes, but winning will help them take a massive step forward.

The sub-continental team has struggled in the one-day format of the game of late, losing five of their last six series in a row before beating Zimbabwe 2-0 in the historic series in Pakistan last month.

"As a coach there is always pressure on you, it's there even when you are winning. Unfortunately we have lost five series but you must consider a lot of factors – the biggest was losing Saeed Ajmal," said Younis.

The world-class spinner has not been selected for the Tests against Sri Lanka and Waqar admitted that both his side and Sri Lanka are in the middle of a rebuilding period.

"[Sri Lanka] lost some of their senior players and we have also lost some seniors so it will take time to rebuild the one-day teams but a tour to Sri Lanka is always tough," he said.

Pakistan's first game on tour will be a three-day warm-up game in Colombo starting on 11 June before travelling to Galle for the first Test beginning on 17 June.

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