Pakistan v England 2011-12 January 15, 2012

'We have best spinners in the world' - Hafeez

112

Mohammad Hafeez has predicted Pakistan's spinners can out-bowl their counterparts and make the difference in the forthcoming Test series.

Hafeez, Pakistan's opening batsman and offspinner, said their spin attack has already shown its mettle in the UAE, where conditions are expected to offer little assistance to England's faster bowlers.

"We have the best spinners in the world," he said. "They have done well here in the last few games and the conditions should suit them. The important thing is that we have bowlers who can take 20 wickets. We showed that in the Tests we played last year."

England's spinner Graeme Swann has poked fun at Saeed Ajmal's claim that he has developed a new delivery but Hafeez said he had faced the 'teesra' in the nets and said that Ajmal had produced something "a bit different; a new weapon".

"It will be something new in cricket," Hafeez said. "He has worked on it a lot for the last six to eight months, but not bowled it internationally. It means he has a new weapon and, because of his extraordinary work he has command over it. I don't want to reveal anything; you'll get to see it soon."

Hafeez accepted Pakistan are more familiar with the conditions, but he played down the notion of home advantage. "We have an edge in that we are more familiar with the conditions. We played a tough series against Sri Lanka a few months back and the conditions are favourable, but we'll have to play good cricket."

Since returning to the UAE in November 2010 Pakistan have not lost any of their five Tests. They drew 0-0 with South Africa in their first series back in the region before beating Sri Lanka 1-0 in October 2011.

"Dubai is not in Pakistan," Hafeez said. "You miss your own crowd. When you play in Pakistan the crowds back you all the time. The conditions are totally different. We as a team have done well in the last year-and-a-half and we deserve credit for doing that in neutral venues."

Continuity of selection was a prime reason, he said, why there was an improved spirit within the Pakistan side. "One thing is for sure. When you play as a team your performance gets better and better. We have the plus point that the same six batsmen are playing. We know each other and that is good for partnerships."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • gunnerr4life on January 17, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    I don't know why are people criticizing Pakistani players of talking big !?! They are mentally weak when playing against big teams , so it's a good way of motivating players ! And guess what ? it has worked .. Eng all out for 192 and pak 42-0 !

  • NALINWIJ on January 17, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    England has Swann, Pakistan has Ajmal but also 2 others and in these pitches they can hunt in packs. England may have the edge with the seamers who will be nullified by the pitch and any perceived weakness in Pakistani batting will not be exposed as a result. i feel these pitches suit Pakistan even more than their home pitches. I predict 2-0 victory to Pakistan with Ajmal taking 20+ wickets.

  • on January 17, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    couldnt help but smile when i saw the comment left by front-foot-lunge, yes, swann is ranked as best spinner in the world, BUT we have the best SPINNERS in the world, there is a difference, and now that ajmal just blitzed the england batting line up, im not sure swann will be up there for much longer, we will have to see, im pretty sure a big hooha will be made about ajmals action aswel, especially if he keeps destroying england like he did today, but fact of the matter is he has been cleared by the ICC and that should be the end of it, bringing it up again and again just seems like sour grapes to me

  • zavahir on January 17, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    Yes Hafeez you are right. Can the best bowl in short sleeves? We are deprived to see the complete action of the best spinners.

  • S4CHIN_IS_GOD on January 17, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    @Front-Foot-lunge, Haha your commenst makes me laugh. Best in world because Muril retired. Bhajji overplayed for last 13 years. Never in my life i think he best. He couldn't even take a wicket in spin friendly wickets in Asian tournament. Hes best by no.s, just like your team.By the end of this year your own people will be calling for Strauss head.

  • on January 17, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    well 7 wicket by Ajmal just proved why he is the best not Swan. And please people religion should never be brought in sports

  • muraliyem on January 17, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    pl give England a 3-0 trashing. pakistan spinners are capable of that

  • usernames on January 17, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge: Rankings aren't a true measure of actual quality, to be honest. Rankings had India at top for nearly two years when they weren't really the best team in the world. Ajmal, imo, IS the best spinner at this moment. Swann is a close second but, as for Hafeez's comments, I believe he is referring to their spin triplet (himself, rehman and ajmal) and not just Ajmal.

  • Meety on January 17, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding "...a slight variation is always good to have, unless you sign post it like Ajmal does..." - Bell musn't be able to read because Ajmal just did him all ends up with the Doosra - ouch!!!!!!!!!!

  • on January 17, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    Dear Pak bros, please show England wt "TEST cricket is", outside Aus/Eng seaming tracks.. Of the subcontinent teams, u hv got the first opportunity to show them, wr they stand in alien conditions.. Eventhough they played in Ind, they r ODIs and the 0-5 result didn't affect their Test rankings.. A complete support frm Indian..

  • gunnerr4life on January 17, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    I don't know why are people criticizing Pakistani players of talking big !?! They are mentally weak when playing against big teams , so it's a good way of motivating players ! And guess what ? it has worked .. Eng all out for 192 and pak 42-0 !

  • NALINWIJ on January 17, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    England has Swann, Pakistan has Ajmal but also 2 others and in these pitches they can hunt in packs. England may have the edge with the seamers who will be nullified by the pitch and any perceived weakness in Pakistani batting will not be exposed as a result. i feel these pitches suit Pakistan even more than their home pitches. I predict 2-0 victory to Pakistan with Ajmal taking 20+ wickets.

  • on January 17, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    couldnt help but smile when i saw the comment left by front-foot-lunge, yes, swann is ranked as best spinner in the world, BUT we have the best SPINNERS in the world, there is a difference, and now that ajmal just blitzed the england batting line up, im not sure swann will be up there for much longer, we will have to see, im pretty sure a big hooha will be made about ajmals action aswel, especially if he keeps destroying england like he did today, but fact of the matter is he has been cleared by the ICC and that should be the end of it, bringing it up again and again just seems like sour grapes to me

  • zavahir on January 17, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    Yes Hafeez you are right. Can the best bowl in short sleeves? We are deprived to see the complete action of the best spinners.

  • S4CHIN_IS_GOD on January 17, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    @Front-Foot-lunge, Haha your commenst makes me laugh. Best in world because Muril retired. Bhajji overplayed for last 13 years. Never in my life i think he best. He couldn't even take a wicket in spin friendly wickets in Asian tournament. Hes best by no.s, just like your team.By the end of this year your own people will be calling for Strauss head.

  • on January 17, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    well 7 wicket by Ajmal just proved why he is the best not Swan. And please people religion should never be brought in sports

  • muraliyem on January 17, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    pl give England a 3-0 trashing. pakistan spinners are capable of that

  • usernames on January 17, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge: Rankings aren't a true measure of actual quality, to be honest. Rankings had India at top for nearly two years when they weren't really the best team in the world. Ajmal, imo, IS the best spinner at this moment. Swann is a close second but, as for Hafeez's comments, I believe he is referring to their spin triplet (himself, rehman and ajmal) and not just Ajmal.

  • Meety on January 17, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding "...a slight variation is always good to have, unless you sign post it like Ajmal does..." - Bell musn't be able to read because Ajmal just did him all ends up with the Doosra - ouch!!!!!!!!!!

  • on January 17, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    Dear Pak bros, please show England wt "TEST cricket is", outside Aus/Eng seaming tracks.. Of the subcontinent teams, u hv got the first opportunity to show them, wr they stand in alien conditions.. Eventhough they played in Ind, they r ODIs and the 0-5 result didn't affect their Test rankings.. A complete support frm Indian..

  • Meety on January 17, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge - what an easy target. "...."We have the best spinners in the world" Someone should've pointed out this factual error, the world's best for the last year, if not two years has been England's Graham Swann. So why claim otherwise? Someone hasn't been checking the rankings..." FACT ONE - Ajmal was the leading wicket taker in 2011 calendar year with 50 wickets. FACT TWO - Rehman was the 5th highest wicket taker in 2011 (4th highest spinner) with 36 wickets. FACT THREE - Swann was the 15th highest wicket taker in 2011 (5th highest spinner) with 27 wickets. FACT FOUR - Swann, Rehman & Ajmal played the same number of tests & Swann's average was far inferior to the two Paki spinners. SUMMARY - Hafeez's claims are NOT without base, Hafeez himself took 15 wickets with an average 8 runs per wicket better than Swann & he is a P/T bowler!

  • on January 17, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    With our team India going down down down ... it is a great opportunity to follow Pak battle England with Misbah's calm & no-nonsensical leadership! Go Pakistan!

  • on January 17, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    Whenever team from ASIA play againts england or Australia... ...i always supported asian team.... show the goras we asian are the best ....

  • Rahul_78 on January 17, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    Swann can keep laughing and poking fun..Fact is Ajmal is a class act and he is going to take bucket loads of English wickets. Let the series be over...stats will show who the world best off spinner is.

  • USAPakCricFollower on January 17, 2012, 4:18 GMT

    @ Front Foot Lunge - I believe the word Hafeez used is plural - as in spinners - but you being English should know that better than English as second language Pakistanis like us. Regardless, the fact is that between Ajmal, Rauf and Hafeez, Pakistan does have the best spinning attack. Hoping for a competitive and entertaining series. Cheers.

  • SaeedKhanNiazi on January 17, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    @Front-foot-lunge: carefully read the statement, he said spinners. Which would obviously mean that he isn't exclusively saying the best spinner is saeed ajmal, but that their overall spin department collectively in great shape. Nothing in that statement stated that swann Was not that best spinner or ajmal was perhaps the best. Simply stated that their spin bowling dept performance has been exceptional over the past year. Also to take note, many teams have at least ONE spinner that performs, but last year saeed ajmal and Hafeez who is a part time spinner, did a great job, leading to the statement that they have TWO performing spinners but saeed ajmal obviously more effective. That's how I interpreted that statement. I could be wrong and anyone can disagree with me here if they wish :)

  • m0se on January 17, 2012, 2:44 GMT

    I know what the teesra mystery delivery is! Ajmal runs to the bowling crease, then just before delivery and in mid stride, feezes. I mean, freezes with his one leg up in the air, ball right above his head. The batsman waits and waits and then when he's about to say something to the umpire, Ajmal throws it in catching the batsman out of position.

  • serious-am-i on January 16, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    So, Ajantha Mendis had choutha, panchva as well as he could bowl 5 different kind of deliveries. Anyways jokes apart, people shouldn't boast of their weapon until its unleashed. This is not a bomb that you are threatening to launch on the rival. If Ajmal's new delivery become a laughing stock it will be much more amusing than anything else. Talk after execution should be the principle. I always felt Swann was an over rated bowler, we all saw how he bowled in the spinner friendly Indian conditions, according to me best offie at the moment is Ajmal closely followed by Hafeez. I am an Indian by the way and I strongly feel Pak will win the series comfortably. Eng are pathetic against spin in spin friendly conditions. All the Best Pakistan friends. Let there be same kind of sympathy and friendship between all our Asian countries if not all.

  • on January 16, 2012, 23:21 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge - Actually, I just checked the facts. Ajmal has dominated Swann all over the past year. Any decent cricketing brain would tell ya Ajmal > Swann any day. The former was unplayable for India in their own backyard while the latter was being destroyed by a third string Indian team on spinning conditions. In any case, even if we let that slide by, Hafeez was referring to having the best spin attack overall. And its only common sense that Ajmal + Afridi + Hafeez > Swann. Jealousy is not something you as a cricket lover should exercise, it'll let such simple common sense to slide past you.

  • fannybaws on January 16, 2012, 23:19 GMT

    Best spinners in the world, but the worst batsmen !

  • Street_Hawk on January 16, 2012, 22:48 GMT

    teesra is nothing but the 12th man..while Ajmal bowls ICC will hold its rules back and let Pakistan have an extra fielder on the field

  • OhhhMattyMatty on January 16, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    Can't wait to see Swanny's new delivery in action as well. The Swannsong could become the new googly for off spinners. It is gonna be major pranks!

  • OhhhMattyMatty on January 16, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    I'd take Swann, Panesar and Pietersen over Ajmal, Rainman and Hafeez. At least our 3 have nice safe actions, unlike 2 I could mention within the opposition!

  • Tit4Tat on January 16, 2012, 21:38 GMT

    WOWwWwW... English fans accusing us for talking big and indian fans want our team to beat England cuz they thrashed their over rated team just like they are being hammered and thrashed by Aussies rt now,lolzzzz.how much more excited i can be. Well i wont say anything and let the green shirts talk with their bat and ball cuz action speaks louder than words. ALL THE BEST GREEN SHIRTS. lets have some positive and competitive cricket.

  • haq33 on January 16, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    @ Karachi Kid - that is the best thing I read all day....BE LIKE A SUBMARINE!! lolzz...spot on brother!

  • on January 16, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    that's gonna be a cracker of a series !!

  • DalesGuy on January 16, 2012, 18:03 GMT

    In supporting Pakistan team, I follow the principle of Little Master Gawaskar. By handing over defeats to England, they can soothe more than a billion souls!

  • Hussain_KSA on January 16, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    Teesra, Teesra and Teesra will be a great weapon of Pakistan against England. We all aware about the fact that is England is very week against quality spin bowling; as contrast with Sri-Lanka; Pakistan already won against Lanka in the same conditions with same bowling attack without using their special weapon(Teesra); Then against England they can definitely make a significant impact. The only worries are for Pakistan batting; If Pakistanis players can able to put runs on the board then.... There is no man, no war, no magic can able to stop Pakistan to take the series with dignity and honor!!!!

  • on January 16, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    Just watch the ball. With Ajmal already bowling the orthodox off break and the doosra I'd wager that this so called teesra is simply bowled with lots of backspin, producing something akin to the legspiners slider. Ajmal is a very good spinner, but he's limited by the laws of physics so we may see something different but nothing extravagant

  • nuetralumpire on January 16, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    cricket has to be played fair on both sides.england always has their coaches,umpires,former players,comentators n media involved in 1 way or another.fletcher was seen in conversation with umpire fat sheperd before pak was deducted 5runs,not mention they get most decisions for them. more reveiws per innings required

  • on January 16, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    I am loving this buildup to the series. I am sure DOOSRA can play a decisive role if not TEESRA.

  • on January 16, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    @spence1234: Pakistan does not have a history of talking big, we do not talk and have never talked big given our unpredictiveness overthe years. Perhaps you are mixing Pakistan with India. Furthermore, we have never gone and acted as the victim, England has and not on one occasion but on so many of them that your allegation needs to be directed inward and not outward.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on January 16, 2012, 15:56 GMT

    "We have the best spinners" Umm... as the facts and stats show, England's Swann is, I'm afraid to say and to burst your precious bubble, the best spinner in the world. Ask any serious cricket fan around the world, Pakistani, English or other, and a quick redirection towards the ICC rankings should tell you. Jealousy is not something Pakistani cricketers, looking to redeem themselves after last time, should be getting involved in.

  • on January 16, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    i hope pakstaan will perform will nd bring all three trophies home!

  • on January 16, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    indians all wil back pak to win!!!

  • on January 16, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    The "Teesra" is nothing but hype and if English players succumb to such then they dont deserve to be No.1. However, i think they will remain calm and play the "teesra" just like any other ball.

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 16, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    referring to some of the mindless comments above, the teesra is not expected to go back to the bowler after bouncing. all it has to do is to behave slightly differently, thats it, it will be suffient to confuse the batsmen.

  • on January 16, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    Psychological effect and pressure. There is nothing like teesra I guess but anyways best of luck to Ajmal. This will be one hard contest for Pakistan. England on the other hand, must not underestimate Pakistan.

  • camath on January 16, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    I don't think Ajmal needs Teesra for Englishman. His current variations are good enough

  • BravoBravo on January 16, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    @Spence1324, you are confused about big talking and not delivering, it is IND who is known for that, not the PAK. I am looking forward to the ENG vs PAK series. I hope it will be competitive not one sided such as ENG vs IND or AUS vs IND after all the hype associated by press releases and certain player of IND. Good luck to both teams. Lob live Test Cricket.

  • Pak_Guru on January 16, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    There is no doubt about the quality of Pak spinners and i am sure rehman will play tomm, but remember the englishmen have good and quick footwork while playing spin. It will be exciting battle to watch, Pak spinners will do their job provided close in fielders do a good job. Remember its a team sport.

  • Delboy1271 on January 16, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    Saeed Ajmal has the most suspect action in Test cricket today. It looks really bad when he bowls the doora so it will be interesting to see how the Teesra looks.....

  • on January 16, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    I'm sorry - but Pakistan are not even in the same class as England. The team that toured England last was a better team than this. Pakistan may have a slight chance of drawing the series - if the wickets are very slow and low.

  • Kruger81 on January 16, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    @spence1324- Actually it is completely unlike Pakistan to be talking big ahead of any series, as they generally dont get involved in mind games and off the field remarks. Also on the point of crying foul- again not true. Infact It is England who cry foul, as if to say " it had to be cheating, otherwise how can Pakistan beat us". That English arrogance will be exposed yet again in this series.

  • YorkshirePudding on January 16, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    @AbdullahShaikh, agreed a slight variation is always good to have, unless you sign post it like Ajmal does with the doosra as for English batsmen not picking the doosra, the stats show something different 12 wickets in 3 games, at 30 odd each isnt a great return, I'm sure hes improved and looking forward to a good series as its going to be englands first major trial.....Anyway we wont have much longer to wait only another 35 hours until start of play....

  • on January 16, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    good luck to Pakistan INSHAALLAH we will win

  • Khan1983 on January 16, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    Spence1324, Don't worry dude, it's upon us now from tomorrow. I used to sympathise with ever suffering Brit fans and was quite happy with the ascent of Team GB, but in arrogance and false-based bravado u r no less than Aussies! Well prepare for your downward journey again as was meted out to ur team in 2005!

  • da_man_ on January 16, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    @spence1324; that's a big statement mate, and an even bigger generalisation of over 60 years of cricket. Care to site specific instances or are you just here for an inflammatory response?

  • on January 16, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    They should play Yasir Shah who took 8 wickets in the practice match!

  • KashifMuneer on January 16, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    @spence1324 - I think that is an unfair assessment of Pakistani team or fans. England are famous for getting injured in Asian series and losing. I would say that's just bad luck or bad conditioning for the series and does not represent the attitude of the players.

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 16, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    Yeah Dude, u r right. In the subcontinent like conditions in the UAE spinners will play a greater role. however, it is important to hold on to your catches. The Pak fielders have a history of beign the worst fielders in the history of the game. If you guys hold on to the cathes then surely you guys are the favirites.

  • AAJS on January 16, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    According to Hafeez they have the best spinners - what he conveniently forgets to mention is that all of the 'best' spinners actually THROW and not bowl; and this includes him. The only one who can keep his arm straight is Rehman and because of that he is predictable.. and it is also amazing how only 'Pakistani' bowlers have suffered some kind of deformity when young or at birth.. they are going to get slaughtered as usual!!

  • pakcricpassion on January 16, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    Here are some interesting stats which have been overlooked by the experts. The results of the latest series that England has played abroad are:

    against South Africa (1-1) ( DRAWN WITH PLENTY OF LUCK ) India (0-1) (LOST) Sri Lanka (0-1) (LOST) Pakistan (0-2) (LOST) West Indies (0-1) (LOST) Australia (3-1) (WON) New Zealand (2-1) (WON)

    The point is simple. Any team can win in home conditions. If the team does well abroad, that is special. That is why the No. 1 status of the English team should not overshadow all the other factors.

  • kabe_ag7 on January 16, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    @spence1324 What big did he talk? Who else has the best spinners right now if not Pakistan?

  • fadms on January 16, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Go Pakistan!!!! All the best, you can surely spin the Poms to Hong Kong.

  • Raj239 on January 16, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    India fan here. I don't like Pakistan but I dislike England more. Hope you win and remove them from no.1.

  • swingstowin on January 16, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    i totally agree with M.Hafeez when he says Pakistan deserves credit for doing well away from home...Look at the other teams...Australia, India, England.. much of their wins come at home!! And when it comes to Pakistan,they say it is cause they play against weaker teams(is SriLanka a weak team after defeating SA a test match in SA??) A neutral venue is a neutral venue,be it Dubai or Jamaica or Cape Town..Best of Luck to TEAM PAKISTAN..hoping for a good series!

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 16, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    Saeed Ajmal was the highest wicket taker with 50 wickets last year. He is in great form. Abdur Rehman and Hafeez are also doing a great job. pacers will have to work hard but there will be some limitation on these tracks for them. In all it looks like a perfect reciepie for Pk players. Azhar Ali is promising younsters, recently he has grown well in confidance, he will be the player to watch. Younis Khan is a great player with an average of over 50. Only if Mohammed Yousuf was to be added in the line up. England would have a tough time. Howver, Pk is the favorites in these conditions.

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 16, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    Experience in UAE conditions. is similer to subcontinent conditions, hence the pak team will easily adapt to these conditions and pitch. However, the english team will find it difficult to adjust as they found out in India during the world cup and the ODI series in India. However, Test cricket is different and England are ranked no.1 in the Test match category. However, this ranking has come off the home series played by england aganst India, SL, Pak and series in Australia (when the aussies were not dong well). A clear parellel can be drawn to Indias no.1 Ranking after playing in the subcontinent for a long time. When India, Pak and SL went to England they got thrashed, not becouse england was superior but because these teams could not handle the conditions there. Also the younsters were untested till then. Now in the UAE it will be a different story. I firmly believe that here Pak are the favorites.

  • FreddyForPrimeMinister on January 16, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    @Abdul Rahman Ahsan - I agree entirely. Cricket has shot itself in the foot too many times recently with on/off field incidents, which have taken away the gloss of what has been an excellent couple of years for the quality and excitement of the matches themselves. I hope both teams play hard but show each other the respect they both deserve - after all, cricket is the ultimate game for "gentleman". On a different issue, I really like Hafeez - I think he adds tremendous balance to the Pakistan team as he is much more effective than a mere "part-time" spinner. I wish KP could do the same for England but like his predecessors, Hick, Ramprakash and Vaughan, he doesn't bowl enough to get the experience to become more than an occasional chuck.

  • Harmony111 on January 16, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    I don't think Pak would win the test series. A draw would be a great result for them. Eng have a wholesome bowling attack and they hold advantages in all the 3 depts of the game. Unless Pak can bat well, they would not be able to match England. 70-30 Eng.

  • on January 16, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    Allah & his bookmaker pals can keep thier big fat noses out of cricket and let the men on the field decide it.

  • SamAsh07 on January 16, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    Asian teams are taking a beating this month (SL and India), so no idea about Pakistan, I'll support them and Ajmal, I know he'll do it for Pakistan! If only Afridi didn't retire from Test Cricket, I'm not supporting Afridi for his batting before anyone goes O_O, Afridi is a great bowler and we all saw that live when he won an ODI for Pakistan against SL when SL were cruising to victory last year (in both Batting and Bowling)

  • SirWilliam on January 16, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    Well done brother Swann. God's help always for Christians. May God grant a win and success for England. Amen.

  • on January 16, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    Teesra might be like the ramp shot or reverse sweep- maybe not to use always & maybe not to work every time but still fun to see & sometimes just the right choice.

  • Hussain_KSA on January 16, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    Teesra, Teesra and Teesra will be a great weapon of Pakistan against England. We all aware about the fact that is England is very week against quality spin bowling; as contrast with Sri-Lanka; Pakistan already won against Lanka in the same conditions with same bowling attack without using their special weapon(Teesra); Then against England they can definitely make a significant impact. The only worries is for Pakistan batting; If Pakistanis players can able to put runs on the board then.... There is no man, no war, no magic can able to stop Pakistan to take the series with dignity and honor!!!!

  • khurramsch on January 16, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    i thnk it will at the end come to batting. english batting is strong & pakistan's not that strong. & about swann or ajmal i think both are good but not that good like murli. it all depends on the batsmen u r bowling.about tesra , new r not new its okay to have 1 more variation in control.

  • on January 16, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    @spence, Pakistan has a history of providing best spin and fast bowling attack. That is why England has selected Pakistani Bowling coach : Mushtaq Ahmed.

  • Azhar.Hassan on January 16, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    Well I for one am looking forward to what should be a good contest and hoping that this time at least, there will be no controversy - on or off the field (or is that hoping for too much?). England are the no.1 ranked test side at the moment, but they will have to prove themselves here in totally different conditions. Let us see how their seamers cope with the wickets in the UAE and how effective their spinners can prove to be. As for Pakistan, the conditions are familiar for them and they don't have nearly as much to lose as the no.1 ranked England side. So that should allow the Pakistan team to play more freely and they should give England a good fight.

  • agneepath007 on January 16, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    good thing is that there will be no one-sided affair like India- England series, Pakistan will show all fight against No. 1 team in the World. Also, this series will built a better relationship between Pakistan and England...!!...lot depends on Pakistani Batting..!!

  • Hussain_KSA on January 16, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    Teesra, Teesra and Teesra will be a great weapon of Pakistan against England. We all aware about the fact that is England is very week against quality spin bowling; as contrast with Sri-Lanka; Pakistan already won against Lanka in the same conditions with same bowling attack without using their special weapon(Teesra); Then against England they can definitely make a significant impact. The only worries is for Pakistan batting; If Pakistanis players can able to put runs on the board then.... There is no man, no war, no magic can able to stop Pakistan to take the series with dignity and honor!!!!

  • sabee66 on January 16, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    The crisis which Pakistani team has gone through and faced it bravely (brought it on to themselve though), and no international cricket at home but they have proved that they are the real spirit of the game Worldcup and all that time after, we have showed it to the world, where there is a will there is a way Pakistan will win Inshallah

  • on January 16, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    comm'on bring it on. can't wait for the teesra anymore. hope Misbah will bowl first as has been his trademark in past. dying to watch the "TEESRA".

  • on January 16, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Dear Brothers its not easy to discover any new delivery. Hope fully Saeed discover that and may be in this series he can apply. I believe that he already discovered well before time...........So Be Ready GORAAS....................

  • KarachiKid on January 16, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    I think Pakistan should avoid such tall claims. Let the bat and the ball do the talking. Its better to be like submarine.

  • on January 16, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    i just hope that Ajmal doesnt get too carried away by all the 'teesra' talk as this usually mean that the stock ball i.e. the off spin will end up being pitched on middle and leg, easily nudged for a safe single....i still think everybody has forgotten Abdur Rehman''s role in Ajmal emerging as a great threat as Rehman is a aggressibely defensive which mean Ajmal gets the change to be more very attacking. Ajmal and Rehman relationship as a bowling duo will surprise alot of people and couple that in with Hafeez's brand of fastish non offspinners...it will be really interesting...

  • on January 16, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    if Pak can hold on to some catches and bat sensibly then they have a good chance otherwise England wins...

  • chatter on January 16, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    time will tell who has the edge.

  • RJHB on January 16, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    Bring it on, sick of the wait and sick of short test matches in Australia! Hungry for cricket, good test match cricket!

  • captian_buddy on January 16, 2012, 3:05 GMT

    @iBilal : Saqlain Mushtaq invented it and Saeed's gonna master it . Just like Saqi ivented the doosra and murali mastered it.

  • on January 16, 2012, 2:23 GMT

    It would certainly be foolish of England to underestimate the Pakistani attack. Ajmal & Rehman have evolved into a formidable spin partnership - with Hafeez as a highly effective third option - while both Gul & Junaid Khan can be devastating on their day. Pakistan's weaknesses lie in their brittle top order & their psychological frailty, so expect England to target those vulnerabilities mercilessly. As for team composition: personally, I'm hoping that Panesar will play as a second spinner, but I feel that's unlikely as England's success over the last two years has been built on a template of six specialist batsmen, the best keeper-batsman in the world by some distance in Prior, three seamers & a spinner. For all his many virtues, Andy Flower can be a little inflexible in his approach at times - as we saw during England's 5-0 ODI hammering in India recently - so expect that template to hold sway for the time being.

  • Sinhaya on January 16, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    Spence1324, forgot the fact that Pakistan are the last team to have won a test match in England?? England batting wont stand a chance against Ajmal at all!

  • subbass on January 16, 2012, 1:36 GMT

    Be interesting to see what happens although Pak have been playing well they have not beaten a top 3 side in a series in recent times, i think this is the key thing to remember when you compare the form of both sides. And although the conditions favour Pak, England will have more supporters, are a better fielding and batting side and just maybe in at least one of the Tests the pitch will assist our seam/pace attack. Not too mention the fact that in terms of the rankings Swann is still the best spinner in the world, although I do accept he is not in great form the last few series.

    I predict a 1-1 draw though.

  • El_Toro_Loco on January 16, 2012, 0:50 GMT

    Hafeez must focus on on improving his batting skills ONLY because that's where he would be needed most & leave the bowling for Ajmal, Rehman and other specialist spinners.Ciao...

  • fannybaws on January 16, 2012, 0:46 GMT

    Shame their batting sucks !

  • simon_w on January 16, 2012, 0:14 GMT

    can't wait for this series to get started -- it's great to have a series coming up that's so hard to pick! I hope it will be closely contested, but I wouldn't be hugely surprised if either team ran away with it -- you just can't tell yet, which is great. Re. Ajmal's teesra: it can either break to the leg side, break to the off side, or go straight on. That's it. Last summer there were only one or two of the England batsmen who could pick the doosra (Cook, noticeably, seemed to read it well), so I hope they're thinking more about that, to be honest.

  • Nandha80 on January 15, 2012, 23:32 GMT

    This is probably one of the very few instances when I'd be supporting Pakistan cricket :) Good Luck Pak team!!!

  • on January 15, 2012, 23:15 GMT

    @spence1324 .Could you please remind urself abt what happened back in 1992....i bet u wouldn't even say a single word....We never talk big....but we do make our opponents cry.....anyways let the time come dude...

  • on January 15, 2012, 22:33 GMT

    What ever we did its great but we have to respect what England team did and achieved in last 3 years. it is good for cricket.

  • DazTaylor on January 15, 2012, 22:04 GMT

    For Teesra read Zooter. ie, a fabrication and a (poor) attempt at mind games. Also note how it is Pakistan's players doing all the talking. I wouldn't - wait until the end of the series before opening your mouth as you risk egg on your face.

  • on January 15, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    @Spence1234 talking of history Pakistan has the second best test record of all time second only to Australia...shows historically they back up their big talk

  • WayToGoGuys on January 15, 2012, 21:53 GMT

    I would love to see Pakistani players and management stop talking big and just concentrate on playing good cricket. Let your performance speak big not your words. Show your armour in the field and let Geoff Boycott and Ian Chappel will do the talking for you. Silence is the most powerful mind game if that's what you want to play.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on January 15, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    "We have the best spinners in the world" Someone should've pointed out this factual error, the world's best for the last year, if not two years has been England's Graham Swann. So why claim otherwise? Someone hasn't been checking the rankings...

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on January 15, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    "We have the best spinners in the world" Someone should've pointed out this factual error, the world's best for the last year, if not two years has been England's Graham Swann. So why claim otherwise? Someone hasn't been checking the rankings...

  • Amjadhusain on January 15, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    Spence1324, Are you sure you are not confusing some one else.

    No one is talking big, lets see what happens and who will cry!

  • on January 15, 2012, 21:18 GMT

    Wow first Saqlain introduced doosra and now ajmal is going to introduce teesra, Ajmal you're going to rock man.

  • shahzaibq on January 15, 2012, 20:59 GMT

    @spence1324: Did you mean India? Coz that's what they did before England and Australia...

  • sirvivfan on January 15, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    For Pakistan towin, the batters have to look to bat 130-150 overs first up. Then the game will on. Also they need to watch Panesar... Good selection since he was discarded by the English in favour of Swann rather too early. Good luck Pakistan. R

  • yorkshire-86 on January 15, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    Without Acktar/Aamer/Asif the Pakistani fast bowling attack is substandard. Thier superiority in fast bowling should be enough to see England through.

  • on January 15, 2012, 19:53 GMT

    After the disappointment of Australia v India, hopefully the opportunity for 3 weeks of top quality and competitive Test Cricket. Both teams' recent form would indicate a close contest. May the better side win and all the headlines be solely cricket related.

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point on January 15, 2012, 19:47 GMT

    Whatever happens, leaving politics, religion& everything else that's irrelevant in this series to one side, I hope we get fantastic, competitive matches played in a good spirit & may the best team win. That is all!

  • Lakpj on January 15, 2012, 19:38 GMT

    England have the edge in the test series .But due to the variety in bowling Pak have the edge in the ODIs. But as usual their batting is the worrying aspect. Eng need to prove a point here. They don't want to be a No1 like India, where they win everything at home and become a sitting duck in away series.

  • spence1324 on January 15, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    Pakistan have a history of talking big but then crying victim when they do not pull it off,I can see the same thing happening here.

  • BUTT_093 on January 15, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    The teesra should be fun !

  • on January 15, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    the critics of Pakistan, do not take Pakistan cricket team in lighter vein. It is the team who has got the ability to win the difficult and unconquerable matches. here is what I predict, Pakistan will win test series and ODI series against England but i am not sure about T20 match that is about to be held once in the tour

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 15, 2012, 18:04 GMT

    Azher Ali has scored 500 runs at an average of 71 in the UAE in 5 matches, two of them against SA and 3 of them against SL. by no means these can be termed as weak oppositions.

  • on January 15, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    I hope that this series will be played in good spirit and there will some competition between two teams and we have some good matches to see not like India playing against Australia or England.

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 15, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    This Pak team is radically different from the pak team England faced last year. That time they were stripped of the senior plaiyers. And there was a lot of rift in the pak team. This time around it is a different ball game. These players are not so flashy but effective.

  • cricket_pak419 on January 15, 2012, 17:52 GMT

    Good Luck team Pakistan! I cant wait for Pakistans players to defeat the english men. I have never been this excited in a test series

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 15, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    However small the invention maybe. Even if it is not a new invention, still a new weapon in the armoury is alway good to have. Important thing is picking the variations. Last year the english batsmen could not pick Ajmal's Doosra. If this time around thay cannot pick his Teesra, then Ajmal would have achieved what he wants. The beuty is in concealing the variety.

  • Mady04 on January 15, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    weldone brother Hafeez.............Allah's help always for muslims ......May Allah Grant win and success for pakistan .......Amin

  • iBilal on January 15, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    Teesra might not be any different of a delivery like Hafeez said it is.... But I will be looking forward to it... It is always great to see inventions in cricket, no matter how small it might be. For the sake of all the pre-match hype and mind-games, I hope the series lives up to it... thats the only thing that really matters

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • iBilal on January 15, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    Teesra might not be any different of a delivery like Hafeez said it is.... But I will be looking forward to it... It is always great to see inventions in cricket, no matter how small it might be. For the sake of all the pre-match hype and mind-games, I hope the series lives up to it... thats the only thing that really matters

  • Mady04 on January 15, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    weldone brother Hafeez.............Allah's help always for muslims ......May Allah Grant win and success for pakistan .......Amin

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 15, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    However small the invention maybe. Even if it is not a new invention, still a new weapon in the armoury is alway good to have. Important thing is picking the variations. Last year the english batsmen could not pick Ajmal's Doosra. If this time around thay cannot pick his Teesra, then Ajmal would have achieved what he wants. The beuty is in concealing the variety.

  • cricket_pak419 on January 15, 2012, 17:52 GMT

    Good Luck team Pakistan! I cant wait for Pakistans players to defeat the english men. I have never been this excited in a test series

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 15, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    This Pak team is radically different from the pak team England faced last year. That time they were stripped of the senior plaiyers. And there was a lot of rift in the pak team. This time around it is a different ball game. These players are not so flashy but effective.

  • on January 15, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    I hope that this series will be played in good spirit and there will some competition between two teams and we have some good matches to see not like India playing against Australia or England.

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 15, 2012, 18:04 GMT

    Azher Ali has scored 500 runs at an average of 71 in the UAE in 5 matches, two of them against SA and 3 of them against SL. by no means these can be termed as weak oppositions.

  • on January 15, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    the critics of Pakistan, do not take Pakistan cricket team in lighter vein. It is the team who has got the ability to win the difficult and unconquerable matches. here is what I predict, Pakistan will win test series and ODI series against England but i am not sure about T20 match that is about to be held once in the tour

  • BUTT_093 on January 15, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    The teesra should be fun !

  • spence1324 on January 15, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    Pakistan have a history of talking big but then crying victim when they do not pull it off,I can see the same thing happening here.