When England take on Pakistan in their own backyard, one can expect a thrilling contest between the bat and ball. While England are extremely formidable at home, Misbah-ul-Haq’s Pakistan can never be underestimated. In conditions which aid seam bowling, the Pakistani bowlers can be a handful and can demolish any batting lineup with a session flat.
The visitors got their tour of UK off to an absolutely thrilling start as they demolished Somerset in the warm-up fixture. Pacer Mohammad Amir was lethal with the red new cherry as he picked up three wickets to make a hard-hitting statement with his performance. On the sidelines of Pakistan’s fixture against Somerset, team manager Intikhab Alam was quite optimistic and went on to say that the visitors meant serious business.
The veteran manager opened up by stressing about the significance of being fit. “The bowlers have to be equally good in their third spell as their first,” Alam said. “They are fit. They are definitely fitter than any Pakistan team ever. We had a boot camp in Abbottabad and then 10 days in Lahore. Then three weeks here. “People were expecting a great deal from Mohammad Amir when he came back into the side. They were expecting miracles. But now, he has worked exceptionally hard and got himself fit. He is ready.”
Alam added that if Pakistan’s batting somehow got going, then the side could be a force to reckon with. “I have always said we have the bowling resources to take 20 wickets,” Intikhab said. “We can bowl England out twice.”But if our batting clicks, we will have a very good chance of beating England. We have three experienced players in Misbah, Younis and Hafeez and Sarfraz at No. 7. If they play to their full potential and the wickets are as we expect, we have a very good chance. But we have to score 350-plus if we bat first.”
“Things have changed and this is a good thing,” he added. “There is respect for each other and they want to play as a team and bring glory to their country.”This message has been put across to all the players. They have to totally focus and be determined and believe in their abilities. This is working; the atmosphere in the dressing room is very good.”