Pakistan v England 2011-12 January 15, 2012

'We have best spinners in the world' - Hafeez

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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.

  • dummy4fb 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.

  • dummy4fb 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!!!!!!!!!!

  • dummy4fb 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..

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