Mohammad Yousuf backs bowlers against 'beatable' Australia
Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf is upbeat about his team's chances in the upcoming three Tests in Australia and expects his bowlers to play a crucial role in winning a series for the first time in the country.
Yousuf hoped fast bowlers Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul and Mohammad Aamer, along with legspinner Danish Kaneria, would have an impact similar to the one they had in New Zealand, where they took 47 wickets between them and helped Pakistan draw the three-Test contest 1-1.
"The feeling one had some years ago that beating Australia in Australia is impossible is no longer there among our players," Yousuf said. "I think we have a bowling attack that is capable of causing problems for Australia and they are now beatable.
"Chris Gayle's men were impressive here and stretched the home side on a number of occasions during the Tests. Benn's success as a spinner is also a good omen for us because Kaneria is firing well."
Former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson also predicted of a closely-fought contest and believed the bowlers were more than capable of causing Australia problems during the series, which gets underway on Boxing Day in Melbourne.
"I expect them to play well," Lawson said. "The New Zealand Test series will have toughened them up a bit so they won't be underdone in the Test mode of the game.
"Their bowling attack is pretty good, they have a very good spinner in Kaneria and with the first two Tests in Sydney and in Melbourne, where it turns, it could put some pressure on the Australian batsmen."
The batting and fielding disciplines, though, were still a worry for Yousuf. "Our bowling is not a worry and they did well in New Zealand but we have to lift our batting and fielding standards if we want to improve our performances in Australia," he said. "It is up to us now to take advantage of the situation and try to do well in the coming series. I just hope that our openers, Salman Butt and Imran Farhat, continue to do well as they did in New Zealand. They must carry the same form in Australia."
Pakistan are currently involved in a three-day tour game against Tasmania in Hobart.