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September 4, 2006
Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, has warned his players against complacency after a forceful start in the one-day series, saying that England were capable of staging a comeback in their own backyard.
"We have been playing well in this series so far and the win at Lord's comes as a great relief," Inzamam told The News. "But there are still three matches to go and the series is wide open. We will have to continue playing well to win it."
Pakistan thrashed England by seven wickets at Lord's in the second ODI on Saturday, reduced to 40 overs a side because of rain. The win came two days after inclement weather denied Pakistan a victory at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
Inzamam agreed that Pakistan have beaten England in all departments of the game but added that he is wary of an England backlash in the remaining matches of the series.
"We have so far been better than them in bowling, batting and even fielding," he said. "But I believe England is a very capable side and the fact that they are playing in front of home fans can help them to make a comeback in the next games."
The Pakistan captain pointed out that he has been lucky in the one-day series because the toss went his way both at the Sophia Gardens and at Lord's. "In such overcast conditions winning the toss always helps." Pakistan bowled first after winning the toss in both the games and England were skittled out for below par scores by pacers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif in what were tricky playing conditions for the batsmen.
Inzamam praised his bowlers saying that the return of the pace trio of Shoaib, Asif and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan has strengthened the Pakistani attack. He said that one of the major reasons behind the reversal of Pakistan's fortunes in this otherwise forgettable tour were the return of their pacers.
"Previously in the Test matches, our batsmen used to walk towards the crease watching scores of 500 or 600 runs put on the board by England. It used to affect their body language and brought them under pressure," Inzamam said. "But that body language has now changed and all the batsmen are in a more positive frame of my mind mainly because the bowlers have been doing so well," he added.
Pakistan played the Test series with a second string attack spearheaded by an under-performing Mohammad Sami. They drew the Lord's opener but were thrashed at Old Trafford and Headingley by England before a farcical end to The Oval Test ultimately forfeited in the home team's favour handed them a 0-3 drubbing.
Inzamam was confident that the bowlers would continue to deliver in the rest of the series adding that the batsmen were also ready to do their job.
The team travelled to Southampton on Sunday afternoon for the third one-dayer at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday. The tourists were scheduled to train today (Monday) for the day-night game.
© The News
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