~~Pakistan undaunted by revengeful England~~

Published: Tuesday, May 30, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Lahore:Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said his side was undaunted at the prospect of playing a revengeful England side in English home conditions this summer.

"England have already said that before they left Pakistan: 'Wait till we get you in English conditions', but we will do our best to meet a tougher challenge," Woolmer told AFP on Wednesday.

England will be bent on avenging the 2-0 defeat dished out by Woolmer's side last year in Pakistan that brought them back down to earth after the high of regaining the Ashes from the world-beating Australians.

Woolmer, a former England batsman, admitted that the Ashes winners would be a different prospect in home conditions, but reckoned his team had experience on English soil and would be up for the challenge.

"Playing away from home is obviously a tougher proposition although we do have a number of players au fait with English conditions like Mohammad Asif, Rana Naved-ul Hasan and others," he said at the Pakistani team's training camp in Lahore.

Naved has been in top form with the ball for Sussex while Asif has also impressed during his maiden stint with Leicestershire.

Woolmer said the pacemen on both sides would be key in English conditions as the ball was likely to swing around a lot.

"There will certainly be an element of that as both teams have good pace attacks, perhaps it will boil down to who bats and catches better.

"Results in the game of cricket usually boil down to the whole performance. A lot will depend on the pitches we play on and the overhead conditions and of course how quickly we can adapt to the pitches with bat and ball," he said.

In a bid to improve their fielding, Pakistan have sought out the coaching services of Jonty Rhodes, the former South African Test player who made the discipline his own.

Rhodes agreed to a two-week stint of coaching during the second phase of Pakistan's pre-tour training in mid-June.

Woolmer, who has also coached Warwickshire and the South African national side, hoped the fact the Pakistan had not lost a series in England since 1982 would boost the team's confidence.

"It should have two effects: one give us confidence that we can perform in England; and secondly give us a motivation to hold that record. However, it will be tough," said Woolmer under whom Pakistan have lost only one Test series since 2004.

The coach praised Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul Haq for his leadership qualities.

"Inzamam has been leading by example and it will be vital he continues to do so. To add to that all our bowlers must remain fit for the tour if we are to be successful. The important factor is to get them to operate as a team."

Pakistan also hoped their quickest bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who took 17 wickets in last year's win over England, would be match fit in time for the summer series.

Akhtar underwent knee surgery earlier this year and has also been plagued by an ankle problem.

Pakistan begin their England tour in late June and will play four Tests and five one-day matches.

The first Test is scheduled to begin at Lord's on July 13.

Write Comments