Pakistan to keep England in the spin

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Pakistan will once more depend on spin to maintain their dominance over England when the teams meet in a four-match one-day series starting here from Monday.
Misbah-ul Haq’s men blanked England 3-0 in the Tests series with off-spinner Saeed Ajmal finishing with 24 wickets, left-armer Abdul Rehman taking 19 and allrounder Mohammad Hafeez five in a spin-dominated series.
Pakistan’s spin repertoire will further be boosted by allrounder Shahid Afridi whose 5-36 helped Pakistan beat Afghanistan in a first-ever one-day between the two countries in Sharjah on Friday.
Even spinning allrounder Shoaib Malik, controversially included in the squad despite failures in the last six one-day matches, will pose problems for England who were routed 5-0 in India last year.
Pakistan captain Misbah acknowledged Afridi’s heroics as leg-spinner.
“Afridi is a match winner,” said Misbah of Afridi whose 338 wickets is now the second highest by a spinner behind Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (534) in one-day internationals.
“In the last three series in almost all matches Afridi has been outstanding and undoubtedly he is one of the best bowlers in one day cricket,” said Misbah, who has won one-day series against Ireland, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh since taking over in June last year.
Misbah, however, seeks improvement in his batting, especially in the top order.
“I always say that the main area we need to improve is batting. Against England if we can have batting consistency or if we can set very good targets then we have the bowling to give our opponents a tough time,” said Misbah.
England coach Andy Flower also hoped his batting improves after struggling badly against Pakistan’s spinners.
“This will be a really challenging series for us. In our last one-day series in sub-continental conditions, we lost badly to India. The batsmen are lower in confidence after the Tests, so it will be a serious challenge for us,” said Flower.
“I expect better things from the batsmen, and I really expect to see us improve with our knowledge and method of how to combat their spin,” said Flower, adding that Kevin Pietersen will open the batting.
Pietersen had a miserable Test series, managing just 67 runs.
“He’s a very, very fine cricketer – very dangerous – and someone we’d like to give the option of facing as many balls as possible in the limited-overs game. If he stays in long enough, he will win games for us in that position.”
James Anderson and Stuart Broad — who both missed the India one-day series — will be on support for Tim Bresnan, Jade Dernbach and Steven Finn in pace while Samit Patel and Danny Briggs will assist Graeme Swann in spin.
The remaining three matches will be played in Abu Dhabi (February 15) and in Dubai on Feruary 18 and 21.
Teams will also play three Twenty20 internationals in Dubai (February 23 and 25) and in Abu Dhabi (February 27).

1 COMMENT

  1. yeah absolutly pakistan will have planned to take over world heavy weights spaners on english top order just coz of we have no fast track so for and Umer Gul can’t cross the border alone he will have to have the support of cheema or wahab Riaz a hero of semi final against our barbaric enemy,,,,,

    Best luck team pakistan

    best luck younis khan

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