PCB has ~~handed advantage~~ to Eng team: Miandad

Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Former Pakistan great Javed Miandad said on Saturday that Pakistan had handed the advantage to England in the coming home series by giving unnecessary statements about their planned strategies for the matches in November-December.

Contacted for his comments, the seasoned former captain and coach said England had taken advantage of such statements which gave them an indication of what Pakistan was thinking and they accordingly announced a strong and balanced touring squad for the Test and One-dayers.

"Look at the England team. They now have ammunition to deal with any sort of pitch or conditions. They have announced two specialist spinners and a strong pace attack, enough all-rounders and their batting is in form and confident after the Ashes series win.

I don't understand why all these statements have been made by our people," he said."The fact is that England is a team in which the same players have been playing together for a long time and they have developed a good understanding.

Plus they are now very assured and confident. Our strength was to keep them guessing about the sort of pitches they would encounter in Pakistan or the opposition and conditions they would face. Because England has faced problems in the past in Pakistan."

"I think we have given away our advantage of playing in home conditions by giving too many indications to them," he added.

He said England's main plus point was their bowlers had also mastered the art of reverse swing bowling. "Which is so important in the sub-continental conditions and pitches.

"And their biggest strength is they don't give unnecessary statements or discuss their planned strategies in public. That is how they outfoxed Australia in the Ashes.

"In contrast we have disclosed all that we can do before they had even announced their touring squad. We put our cards on the table which normally only the captain and coach should know and discuss it among themselves and keep it to themselves until the appropriate time," Miandad who played 124 Tests said.

He had no doubt that England selected its team based on the statements that came from Pakistan. "I think they have covered their bases well for this tour. In cricket the right thing to do is never disclose your ammunition in advance to the opposition and keep them guessing. The art is to show them one thing and do the other thing."

Miandad said the statement about Pakistan thinking about recalling veteran leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed made no sense at all.

"Why disclose this to everyone. One you have lost the advantage of surprising the England team and secondly worse you have sent the wrong messages to Danish Kaneria who will come under pressure before the series starts."

He also expressed indignation at statements accepting that England was a superior side and favourites for the series.

"Do we need to say that England is a better side than us. Everyone knows that on the basis of their present form. But saying such things publicly only lowers the confidence of your own players and prepares them to have an excuse ready for any bad performance."

Miandad said he didn't believe any series was decided before it is played nor that any team was favourites for a series. "I believe that what matters is how you play on a particular day and in a particular moment. Past form counts for nothing in cricket.

If you do well on that given day you pressurise your opponents and that is what is so important. This is what happened in India.

"For Pakistan the England series is a very big one and we should start preparing for it in a more sensible and logical manner instead of what has been happening in the last few weeks. Tell me how many statements have the England players or management made on the tour?"

Miandad insisted he believed that Pakistan had the talent to upset England in the series and everything would depend on which team played with more assurance and confidence.

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