We can spring a surprise in Australia: Woolmer

Published: Sunday, November 28, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Coach Bob Woolmer brushed aside previous Pakistani performances against Australia and said his team could spring a surprise if they played to their potential on their upcoming tour.

"I don't really study the past because the past is history, and the most important thing is not to look back and be negative," said Woolmer.

"I think that if we play up to our potential we can spring a surprise."

"We can't go there with the thought that other teams are being beaten by Australia and we are the same," he said, speaking before the 17-man Pakistan squad leaves for Australia late Sunday.

Pakistan will play three Tests and take part in a tri-series One-day tournament which also involves the West Indies.

Pakistan, who open the tour with a warm up One-day game in Perth on December 7, have not won a Test series in Australia since 1972-73.

On the last tour in 1999 Pakistan were beaten 3-0. They were also thrashed 3-0 when they played a series at neutral venues in 2002 after Australia refused to tour Pakistan over security fears.

Woolmer, who played 19 Tests for England before coaching South Africa between 1994-99, said his players were keen to win against Australia.

"I am sure the players are looking forward to it and are keen to do well. To beat Australia is a major thing in the cricket world because Mike Gatting's England was the last side to win a series in Australia way back in 1986.

"It's a fortress for Australia at the moment and I don't have expectations but what I do expect is that my players play up to their utmost potential on this tough tour," said Woolmer, who took over as Pakistan coach in June this year.

Woolmer said the fact that only four players - captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, Yousuf Youhana, Shoaib Akhtar and Abdul Razzaq - have played Tests in Australia before could be a plus point.

He said he was not quite sure what to expect from some unknown players. "But what I do know is the kids we have are very committed and single minded."

Woolmer said he had his ideas on how Australia can be beaten.

"I have my ideas of how we can beat them and that is very simple: bat longer than them, stop them from dominating the game, and the other way is to play the way they do, which I don't know any other side still good enough to do," he said.

Woolmer, who scored three hundreds in 10 Tests against Australia, advised batsmen not to listen to what the Australians say to them.

"When the Australians talk to you just smile and stay at the crease because they can keep talking to you for so long but when you got a hundred they won't talk to you any more," he said.

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