Lahore: Pakistan cricket coach Coach Intikhab Alam believes that India and Australia would be the biggest threat to his team in the ICC Champions Trophy scheduled to be held in South Africa in September.
While refusing to predict Pakistan"s prospects in the forthcoming eight nation tournament, Alam said both India and Australia were dangerous one-day teams and Pakistan will have to play really well to compete with them.
Alam, however, highlighted that the humiliating Ashes defeat may have an effect on the Kangaroos.
“India is a dangerous ODI side with a winning mentality and have quality players as well. Australia are world champions, but yes, losing the Ashes would surely have some impact on them during the tournament," said Alam.
India, Pakistan and Australia will share the same group in the tournament beginning September 22.
Commenting on inclusion of tainted fast bowler Mohammad Asif in the Champions Trophy squad, Alam said he (Asif) has always performed well in South Africa and his presence would add fire to the team bowling line up.
“Critics, who were saying his selection was premature after his 16-month lay-off from the sport, forgot he had a splendid record in South Africa.I think Asif"s selection is perfect for the South African conditions and he has always performed well there. His performance and form would be a key for us in the tournament," The Dawn quoted Alam, as saying.
Alam also rejected reports about altercations with captain Younis Khan.
“There are some people spreading such rumours and trying to create discord in the team. I have a good working relationship with Younus and we get along well. We understand each other"s style of working and in the end we both want the team to do well," he said.