Pakistan v England 2011-12 December 8, 2011

England will be 'real test' - Afridi

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Shahid Afridi is expecting England to be a "real test" for Pakistan when they arrive in UAE next month although Pakistan's recent form against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will leave them in good heart ahead of the opening Test in Dubai on January 17.

On the eve of their Test series against Bangladesh, Pakistan have won every trophy that has been available to them since sharing the Tests against West Indies, in the Caribbean, last May. However, that has included success against lower-ranked opponents including Ireland, Zimbabwe and now a struggling Bangladesh.

Afridi won't be part of the Test team having retired from the format but is back as a key member of the limited-overs outfits and is aware that the visit of England will be step up from their recent opposition. England are ranked No. 1 in both Tests and Twenty20 although remain mid-table in 50-over cricket following their 5-0 whitewash against India.

"Winning (throughout the year) gave us a momentum and moral is high," Afridi told reporters at airport on his return from Dhaka. "We have developed a winning unit but it will be exciting when we face England and that would be a real test. Playing against team like England or Australia is very exciting and then we will see where we stand."

Intikhab Alam, the former Pakistan coach, also believes the winning momentum will serve Pakistan well. "We are coming in with a lot of victories under our belt and every player is laden with confidence," Alam told ESPNcricinfo. "But we have to be wary about our upcoming series against England. We definitely need to work harder in various departments."

Spin-bowling is likely to play a major role in the series and Pakistan are well stocked in that department with Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman and Mohammad Hafeez having all made an impact in recent months.

"We have two outstanding spinners and that's could make a clear difference. With the bowling unit we can bowl out any team in the world twice," Alam said. "But I again insist that fitness and fielding are the vital aspect and you can't even afford to miss the half chances against a team like England. We are not a bad side if we make an analysis between our players and theirs we have got fair chance of beating them."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on December 10, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    @DARKLORD91 on (December 09 2011, 15:49 PM GMT) - You forget or don't knnow about the tour where Gatting had a huge spat with the umpires etc - think it was 87. Agree with the rest of your points

  • on December 10, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    English team is a pretty tough side and truly a real test for Paki Tigers. Pakistan is required to do well in fielding and batting simultaneously, moreover balling is almost too much strong to resist any team in the world as the Asian environment is also not suitable for Englishes. The key factor is that, if we click in fielding and a bit in batting then English team will be check-mated by the Urdu one

  • on December 10, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    This will be a home series for Pakistan so advantage is always with Pakistan as they can make the pitches with their strengths. I am expecting the results to be in a favour of Pakistan because of 3 world class spinner and wonderful Captain ship by Misbah. 2011 was excellent for Pakistan. They recently beat Sri Lanka on the same tracks so they've already done the homework. Afridi comeback has also increased their chances in One dayer's and Twenti20. I think this be a great chance for Pakistan to improve their ICC rankings in all formats.

  • cric...scholar on December 10, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    Salam to all. Guys dont make illogical @ unreasonable comments ilke "surely pak will win Test series" and so on. one thing is pretty sure that England is favourite to win the Test Series. Reasons are.... Eng is best Test batting side... with a solid bowlng attack which consists both Fast & spin. on the other hand Pak still has a rather weak batting lineup.... As for the spin bowling is concerned... in Tests we only have Saeed Ajmal... Abdul Rahman aint got no skills.... and even Saeed Ajmal still gotto prove his masterness at Test level against qualty batting sides... for example he was not impressive against SA in 2010, 2 match Test sieres...in Fast bowling, pak need someone after amir n asif . Danish keneria must be included... Abdulrahman bowling against Pietereson and Trot would be a joke....

  • JG2704 on December 9, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    @Sinhaya on (December 08 2011, 15:55 PM GMT) - Good well balanced post there without the hint of bias and lack of class

  • JG2704 on December 9, 2011, 18:50 GMT

    @Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 08 2011, 16:56 PM GMT) - You were saying loads of stuff about India beating England in the summer test series , and then after the first or 2nd test how Sehwag would turn the series around. After that your comms seemed to fizzle out. It may be best to wait til the series is done before you start on the gloating/sniping path. Just in case England fluke another series

  • fazaian on December 9, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    Pakistan is doing well in recent series. Pakistan spinners are best in their business and so far as fast bowling is concerned it is also good. Umer gull is a fine bowler. Aizaz chema, Muhammad talha and muhammad Khalil is a good inclusion in the squad.

  • DARKLORD91 on December 9, 2011, 15:49 GMT

    england and pakistan have always enjoyed relations in cricket xcept the last tour ..........but the thats history...if we compare the bowling line-ups england will have edge over pakistan in fast bowling department.but pakistan have a decent fast bowling attack and a much superior bowling attack...........batting line-up of pakistan is pretty stable and can match the indians.......MY WISH IS WE PLAY GOOD CRICKET .MAY THE BEST TEAM WIN .......AND LET CRICKET BE THE END WINNER

  • khuram13 on December 9, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    That will be a nice and sensational series. Best of luck to Pakistan team. Hope Pakistan will perform well against england

  • adnan_rifat84 on December 9, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Pakistan must call back Yasir Hameed and Muhammad Yousuf in test series against England in UAE tour to make there batting line strong and must pick sadaf hussain as a left arm fast bowler because english batsman are not much confident facing left arm seamers

  • JG2704 on December 10, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    @DARKLORD91 on (December 09 2011, 15:49 PM GMT) - You forget or don't knnow about the tour where Gatting had a huge spat with the umpires etc - think it was 87. Agree with the rest of your points

  • on December 10, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    English team is a pretty tough side and truly a real test for Paki Tigers. Pakistan is required to do well in fielding and batting simultaneously, moreover balling is almost too much strong to resist any team in the world as the Asian environment is also not suitable for Englishes. The key factor is that, if we click in fielding and a bit in batting then English team will be check-mated by the Urdu one

  • on December 10, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    This will be a home series for Pakistan so advantage is always with Pakistan as they can make the pitches with their strengths. I am expecting the results to be in a favour of Pakistan because of 3 world class spinner and wonderful Captain ship by Misbah. 2011 was excellent for Pakistan. They recently beat Sri Lanka on the same tracks so they've already done the homework. Afridi comeback has also increased their chances in One dayer's and Twenti20. I think this be a great chance for Pakistan to improve their ICC rankings in all formats.

  • cric...scholar on December 10, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    Salam to all. Guys dont make illogical @ unreasonable comments ilke "surely pak will win Test series" and so on. one thing is pretty sure that England is favourite to win the Test Series. Reasons are.... Eng is best Test batting side... with a solid bowlng attack which consists both Fast & spin. on the other hand Pak still has a rather weak batting lineup.... As for the spin bowling is concerned... in Tests we only have Saeed Ajmal... Abdul Rahman aint got no skills.... and even Saeed Ajmal still gotto prove his masterness at Test level against qualty batting sides... for example he was not impressive against SA in 2010, 2 match Test sieres...in Fast bowling, pak need someone after amir n asif . Danish keneria must be included... Abdulrahman bowling against Pietereson and Trot would be a joke....

  • JG2704 on December 9, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    @Sinhaya on (December 08 2011, 15:55 PM GMT) - Good well balanced post there without the hint of bias and lack of class

  • JG2704 on December 9, 2011, 18:50 GMT

    @Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 08 2011, 16:56 PM GMT) - You were saying loads of stuff about India beating England in the summer test series , and then after the first or 2nd test how Sehwag would turn the series around. After that your comms seemed to fizzle out. It may be best to wait til the series is done before you start on the gloating/sniping path. Just in case England fluke another series

  • fazaian on December 9, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    Pakistan is doing well in recent series. Pakistan spinners are best in their business and so far as fast bowling is concerned it is also good. Umer gull is a fine bowler. Aizaz chema, Muhammad talha and muhammad Khalil is a good inclusion in the squad.

  • DARKLORD91 on December 9, 2011, 15:49 GMT

    england and pakistan have always enjoyed relations in cricket xcept the last tour ..........but the thats history...if we compare the bowling line-ups england will have edge over pakistan in fast bowling department.but pakistan have a decent fast bowling attack and a much superior bowling attack...........batting line-up of pakistan is pretty stable and can match the indians.......MY WISH IS WE PLAY GOOD CRICKET .MAY THE BEST TEAM WIN .......AND LET CRICKET BE THE END WINNER

  • khuram13 on December 9, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    That will be a nice and sensational series. Best of luck to Pakistan team. Hope Pakistan will perform well against england

  • adnan_rifat84 on December 9, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Pakistan must call back Yasir Hameed and Muhammad Yousuf in test series against England in UAE tour to make there batting line strong and must pick sadaf hussain as a left arm fast bowler because english batsman are not much confident facing left arm seamers

  • on December 9, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    Well it completely make sense that team should seriously bigger contests and look forward to everything and i am sure if they will play like this they will for sure give tough time to England and it will tough series for both teams.

    Now come to second point i always see Indian people commenting about Semi final of the world cup if you guys remember it was not the spin bowling it was Pakstans fielding who let them down and it was a match one has to win and one has to lose so come on get over it it was a single match and you talk about that in every post relax but you will not relax i know for the rest of the decade about this pity :P

  • gunnerr4life on December 9, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    @rajan.sweet88 That was because semi final was also played in India ! ( And we all know how India won against Aus , Pak and Srilanka in the WC ) ..

  • on December 9, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    @SamAsh07 "Don't forget that Pakistan bowled out England in 100s and once even below 100 last year" Don't forget that England won 3-1!

  • on December 9, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    It will be really a hard test for the PAKISTAN team.. if they want to win, they really have to show better and the best cricket they can show.... They should also learn from the "INDIA-ENGLAND" seris... But, it will be really funny to watch these matches....

  • on December 9, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    Be prepared guys, its revenge time and this tour will be remembered for ages........

  • cricket0007 on December 9, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    well to be honest england has always struggled in the sub continent and can prove to be a weak side like bangladesh or zimbabwe when it comes to ODI's but they do have a good test side.. even their test side would be under immense pressure bcoz the tracks in UAE wud be slow and may not be as bouncy as english tracks so their bowlers wud find it hard to adjust in such conditions.. but again at the same time english batsmen will enjoy batting on these batsmen frndly tracks.. batting against fast bowlers wud be easy for them and the real test wud be against spin and Pakistan have quality spin attack.. so lets see what happens.. here I wud like to add one more thing that ICC shud ensure that teams like Pakistan, England, Australia, South Africa and India shud play each other more often.. nobody wants to see Pakistan playing bangladesh, srilanka, zimbabwe, windies... and now indians r playin windies..... aussies r playin against kiwis.... all these matches r one sided and very boring

  • on December 9, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    i dont think this is so easy to beat england ,becoz england team much stronger in batting then pakistan.this will be very hard tour for pakistan .

  • JG2704 on December 9, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    @vivekdhayalan_indian_tamilan - Your post doesn't make that much sense to be honest. I think you mean spinner friendly wickets , not batting friendly wickets. If a team can post 500+ on non batting friendly wickets then surely it can post more on batting friendly wickets

  • MrBrightside92 on December 9, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    It's good to see some sensible comments here (mostly) as an entree for the Pakistan - England series. It is wrong though to assume that England only excel in swingy conditions. They have learned to bowl tidily so if they're not taking wickets, they don't go for many runs in between. The key, in my opinion, is whether Eng will be undercooked after a long lay off. They didn't bowl too well against SL in Eng though they had got in their groove by the time India turned up. I still feel there is a question mark over Pakistan's batting but if Eng start rusty Pakistan could exploit that. If one team gets ahead early it looks difficult in UAE conditions to play catch up. I think Pakistan will win the ODIs' comfortably but Eng were humiliated in India and would want to put that right...also Pakistan do not have the batting firepower India have so mediocre totals could still be defendable (for both teams). T20's, I agree a toss up, Pak better on paper...but Eng are not No1 for nothing!

  • umairasgharbutt on December 9, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    time for the revenge ! cmon Pakistan !!!!

  • gunnerr4life on December 9, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    Good Luck to both the teams .. Who ever wins but I'm sure that Eng and Pak fans will not make excuses like some others ....

  • on December 9, 2011, 9:23 GMT

    GOOD LUCK

    GOOD LUCK

    GOOD LUCK

    GOOD LUCK

    GOOD LUCK

    GOOD LUCK

    GOOD LUCK

    GOOD LUCK

    GOOD LUCK

    GOOD LUCK

    GOOD LUCK

    GOOD LUCK

    GOOD LUCK

    GOOD LUCK

  • rajan.sweet88 on December 9, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    hello hhillbumper.,, den y the pakistanis lost to India in World cup semi finals., even at tat time they have the same fast and spin combo., with the same attack as now but LOST .,. Cant able to c even a single victory against INDIA in world cup., So Sad.., Try it Next time.

  • muski on December 9, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    At least for India's sake I want our neighbours to win. Though Eng in Eng were awesome, the form they displayed when they came to India was awful and not worthy of No 1 test side ( even though they cam here only to play ODI's). If they manage to beat this Pakistan side in a location like UAE, they deserve their No 1 status. Will India become number 1 if we beat the Aussies and the Pak Guys beat the English?. I hope it is not wishful thinking

  • on December 9, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    east or west Pakistan is the best ;)

  • Abu.Ashhad on December 9, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    @Kaveen, well England is number one team in both Test & T20 and England recent form except in India was fabolus. Srilanka is also good team but their recent performances were not upto the mark. Even if you saw their performance in WC final against India. However Pakistan spin unit is good enough for England in all formats but I suspect for fast bowling.

  • on December 9, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    if Pakistan continue to play like this they will easily beat England in all formats of the game

  • on December 9, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    if you want to know what will happen in uae vs England look back at south African series . Pakistan played a defensive series ended in draw. I guess similar result awaits. one day series will be like 3-2 in either favour.

  • Zahidsaltin on December 9, 2011, 0:17 GMT

    PAKISTAN must sort out the matter regarding Danish Kaneria before England series. I would like to see Saeed Ajmal and Kaneria playing together. Not selecting Umar Akmal for tests is a mad choice. He is probably the best batsman after Misbah and Azhar Ali. Junaid or Cheema, is the real question.

  • Desihungama on December 9, 2011, 0:08 GMT

    @ WICric101 - That's because the on going series b/w Pakistan and Bangladesh has ended for Afridi. He gave thse comments upon his return to his country. Remember, he does not play Test matches?

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 8, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    @Valavan: Who cares whom you support. But from what I remember of you, you are one of those haters of India without a mind. What a troll !!! wow ! what has the Indian team done to ilks like you. Paper champions ?! you are funny. Use some sense in your comments next time. First ask your England team to roll over 'paper tigers' in their own den. Till then just enjoy all the humiliation coming your team's way.

  • playitstraight on December 8, 2011, 22:47 GMT

    Pakistan will definitely win the Test and ODI series although this will be a test for England's batsmen. Seeing the SL v Pak series that concluded recently, Ajmal, Gul, Junaid, Hafeez and Afridi are some really good bowlers. England have some really good bowlers too, but they are not playing at home where the conditions are seamy and swingy and suit them well. Anyways, good luck to both teams!

  • Saim93 on December 8, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    I expect test series to end 1-1 or 1-2 for england, ODI 3-2 OR 4-1 For Pakistan and T20 is toss up

  • on December 8, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    @spence The Lions are coming!

  • hhillbumper on December 8, 2011, 21:40 GMT

    lets see what happens.As for Indian fans why don't you play your neighbours instead of hiding away all the time.Is it because Pakistan have fast bowlers used to bowling in your conditions and you know you won't win.

  • sirvivfan on December 8, 2011, 21:26 GMT

    Pakistan can win.... But the batsman will have to be more determined. The England strategy would be simple, bowl short stuff... If the the batsman can be disciplined and not just hook at everything then they can tame England attack. Swan is overrated as he got caned by the Indians in India. In the tsp match Pakistan should look to bat 150 + overs.. England bowlers will breakdown. Need to drop both Malik and farhat for the odi and reinstate Riaz in squad as he is express bowler. Allegations against him are just allegations. Good luck Pakistan you can do it if batsmen are willing to fight it out! Riaz

  • fatermir on December 8, 2011, 21:07 GMT

    ALL EYES ARE ON "AZHAR ALI". THE BACKBONE OF PAKISTAN BATTING LINE-UP.

  • spence1324 on December 8, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    The Pakistan couch 'we are coming with lots of wins under our belts' yeah try pancaking the former number one side in the world 4-0 NOW thats momentum!

  • SamAsh07 on December 8, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    Don't forget that Pakistan bowled out England in 100s and once even below 100 last year, this time the matches are in UAE, Pakistan's Second Home. It'll be difficult for England to score runs against Hafeez and the magical Ajmal. The real test will be Gul, Cheema & Khalil vs Englands Top Order. If Pakistans seamers fire (last time they had the prodigy Amir, who took a six-wicket haul too), then it'll be curtains for England, because Pakistan has a very stable batting line-up, which can be penetrated at times but mostly delivers. Englands seamers will be a threat to Pakistan, spinners? Not so much. Swann is over-rated, and people will see that LIVE in UAE next month, just wait and watch. I'm surprised people haven't noticed how much unity there is in Pakistans Squad after the removal of Asif, Butt, Kamran and Riaz.

  • Mel-waas on December 8, 2011, 19:48 GMT

    Afridi should play in test matches as the second spinner ahead of Abdur Rehman. i think he will do well with Saeed Ajmal.

  • haq33 on December 8, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    @ standardised Indian fan (Vinoth or whatever your name is)......empty vessels aren't ranked in the top 10 for ODI allrounders.

  • yorkshirematt on December 8, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    He is right. Pak must now face a team that plays to win test matches rather than hopes for a draw like SL. Our batsmen will pile on the runs and we have the best spinner in TEST cricket (before indians pipe up about those pointless ODIs). Forget Swann V Harbhajan which was never a contest .ok conditions never gave it chance to be a contest but if it had spun swann would have won hands down, Ajmal v Swann will be a real contest.

  • KarachiKid on December 8, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    I agree generally this PAkistan team is clueless against QUALITY spinner like Swan. Even a declining Harbajan is a handful against our mediocre batsmen. Only Younus Khan and Misbah are able to play spin better. Others like Hafeez, Asad Shafiq even Umar Akmal are pretty ordinary. While the less said about the likes of Imran Farhat the better. Finally our tail is too long. Umar Gul is perhaps the worst number 8 in the world !!!.

  • Valavan on December 8, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    @rahulcricket007, first make sure India wins a test in OZ. England will play to their potential, and Misbah is not a childish captain like dhoni to bring out million excuses. Pakistan have always played better in England than India, Oh ye overcast condition is required for England to win, the same dry and dust bowls are required for India to win. Best of luck Pak and England. my wish is to england win but that doesnt mean like how they rolled over paper champions INDIA. I want Pak to win 1 test and England to square 1-1 or win 2-1. ODIs have always never been englands priority, but Good luck Both teans.cricinfo please publish

  • Stark62 on December 8, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    I'm pretty certain that Pak will win the ODI series comfortably whilst, the T20 is a 50/50 and the Tests will be very difficult.

    Pak must include Sadaf Hussain to stand any chance of beating Eng in Tests because he can swing the ball both ways and the English did struggle against both Amir and Zaheer.

    They don't seem to like left arm bowlers who can swing the ball both directions hence, Sadaf is a must pick!

  • wrenx on December 8, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    @netcricketfan4ever I agree, there is a place for Afridi in the Test squad, just not as captain. Remember when he used to open the batting? I think he can find form again, and his bowling is improving all the time. Cause for cautious optimism for Pakistan, they're on a high, and despite the #1 ranking, England are coming from a low of the whitewash in India and a long break. With Junaid still injured, he's unlikely to be fit, and Pakistan need a left-arm seamer to dismiss Strauss. Sadly, I don't think the ECB will tolerate Wahab Riaz, so I guess Cheema will have to do the job. Pakistan's batting is still brittle, the top 6 will all have to up their game. I hope the series will be played in the right spirit; despite the controversies and the bloodthirsty hostility of the English media, England cricket has been very good to Pakistan, both as hosts and by taking Pakistani players into the county circuit. I think it will be a close-fought series, especially the one-dayers. Spin to Win!

  • on December 8, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    come on, pakistan will win. sajjo from trinidad

  • BRAVEPAKISTAN on December 8, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    If Pakistan improve their batting little much more then Pakistan will dominate England easily . Hope that Pakistan continue thier wining streaks Inshallah . GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN U ROCKS

  • skepticaloptimist on December 8, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    Best of luck to our neighbors, Pakistan. Yes, spin will be the key, and if that were the deciding factor between the two teams, Pakistan shall prevail. However, their middle-order seems to be slightly inexperienced - c'mon, they haven't played much. In order to win, Pakistani batting lineup must perform in unison. Apart from that, Pakistani team looks in great shape. For England, the key would be to create inroads into the Pakistani middle order; also, they must be able to play spin of Ajmal, who probably is the best spinner in the world right now. It should be a closely-fought series, but Pakistan has more chances to edge England out. Good luck, Pak.

  • on December 8, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    The test series will be tough against England !! I will be surprised if England dont manage to win it !! Misbah's captaincy and Sead Ajmal could make the difference in the end. But in the ODI's and 20Twenty's England are going to get battered big time !

  • on December 8, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    @wicricket, uou are right but i dont think you considered that afridi no longer plays tests so his next assignment IS england so he can talk about it.

  • on December 8, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    Only if Pakistani had Aamir for this tour, damn.

  • on December 8, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    Spinners will be the key, and not the Pakistani spinners by any means. It would be a challenge whether or not the Pakistani batsman ( since that's what they call a player with a bat in his hand ) can play spin ? Generally speaking they use the term " sub-continent" batsman are good against spin bowling, they seriously need to go consult their geography teacher because ever since the great Inzi retired there's not a single player who can handle quality spin bowling in the Pakistani batting line up. Who can forget how they were blown away by Swann IN England which was painful to watch ( not taking any credit away from the way Swann bowled, he was brilliant ).

  • on December 8, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    Tell you what, all this cheers and praises will be on ground once England arrives and shakes them on first day of first test. Yeah! One day it all takes. In fact one bad session to slip it against champions like England. Pakistan need to take it seriously the way Afridi is taking. Good thing about Afridi is that he always looks forward to tougher assignments and keeps an eye on them. Like he had on Australian summer couple of years ago and turned down the offer from Tasmania to play big bash. Pakistan must lure him to play in tests too. Otherwise this series is gonna decide the misbah's future (who is already 37)

  • WICric101 on December 8, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    Seems a little disrespectful looking towards next series before this on complete, Bangladesh may not be a major threat but Pakistan is a very inconsistent team.Concentrate on winning first and talk after

  • ahilcool on December 8, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    this will be the real test but pak are likelyto win and it also is revenge time with this side plus changes in place of imran fharhat, taufeeq umar, shoaib malik we could add players like rana naveed, imran nazeer, and growing talent like whab riaz, tanvir ahmed, shoial khan and mohammed irfan thanks for reading lol xd

  • LeftBrain on December 8, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    Afridi makes sense (surprise!!) and even Intikhab Alam makes sense (even bigger surprise!!) but I am sick and tired of this continuous down-grading of Pak victories and positive results this year. All the commentators and writers, this article included, always suggest that Pak wins are not as credible and meaningful as they came against lower ranked teams, PAK IS A LOWER RANKED TEAM ITSELF. Under which criteria sixth out of 10 is a higher rank? Pakistan, due to whatever reasons and politics, belong to lower half of the ranking tables in ODI, T20 and tests, only after last series they improved, very marginally, in ODI rankings. Additionally, they are playing all of their matches on "away pitches" which team, lower or higher ranked, have this kind of record on "away pitches" only? Stop making your arguments and articles meaningless and pathetic by these twisted and stupid arguments against Pak team.

  • rahulcricket007 on December 8, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    PAK WILL WIN 1-0 . AND THIS WILL INDICATE THE END OF ENGLISH ERA WHICH LASTS ONLY A FEW MONTHS.

  • on December 8, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    Empty vessels makes noise and Afridi is no exception in this.

  • on December 8, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    yes afridi and alam both are right our real challenge will bagun from the start of england series. But we are confident to beat england we love pakistan INSHALLAH we will win this series

  • emon-28-78 on December 8, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    Yes,I agree with Afridi.Pakistan has become succesful team for last 1 year.In 2011 Pakistan beat Ireland,Zimbabwe,Westindies,Newzealand and won series.They have also beat Srilanka,the runner up team in the world cup 2011.They have also won series against Bangladesh.Now, England.It's the right time to beat them.Pakistan has some great bowlers and allrounders.Mohammad Hafeez has become number2 ODI allrounder in the world now.Saeed Ajmal is the number1 bowler in the world now playing 56 ODI.Bangladesh has some few players shakib al hasan number1 ODI allrounder in the world now.Nasir Hossain is in great form.And Tamim,I think he has forgot how to play cricket.Tamim isn't in form.It's the right decision to call back Ashraful in Test against Bangladesh.Because Ashraful is the most experience player in Bangladesh team and he has also some world records.Imrul Kayes isn't in form now.It's good to see nazimuddin back.He can hit the bowl well.Now,It's the right time to real test for Pakistan.

  • elimomin on December 8, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    well after a successful year of 2011 now it is a real test for pakistan team to continue this winning pattern with consistency. the team has improved alot. the bowling side is performing well and is capable of winning most of the matches. but its the time to focus the batting. because still the batting needs improvement.

  • TaylorSwift on December 8, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    My predictions for the tour. Tests will end in a 1-1 tie. Pakistan will win the ODIs 3-1 and T20s 2-1.

  • netcricketfan4ever on December 8, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    Personally, I would like Afridi to be included in the Test squad as a spinner. If he bats and scores, it will be a plus but I think he can easily make his way into the Test team as a second spinner. I hope he reconsiders he can make a come back to Test team as well.

  • on December 8, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    yup Eng will be real test, and Inshallah Pak will do well :)

  • zesh92 on December 8, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    after the controversial tour of eng pakistan have done pretty well drawing test series against SA winning test series against NZ and reach world cup semis have recently beaten sri lanka hope so we can show good result in UAE against eng .. GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN TEAM :)

  • Vernacular_Press on December 8, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    England is just a pushover(in batting friendly conditions) outside those overcast conditions and i dont think stuart broad will be available. So i wont be difficult for pakistan to beat or may be draw.

  • Sinhaya on December 8, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    Pakistan will definitely win the tests 3-0, ODIs 4-0 and T20s 3-0! England wont stand any chance against the spin combination of Ajmal, Rehman, Afridi, Hafeez and Malik. Fast bowlers Gul, Tanveer, Junaid Khan will get England out for double digit scores.

  • dariuscorny on December 8, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    if Pakistan bats decently against England i think they hv enough depth in spin department to destroy England.Pakistan has its biggest worry in their batting

  • YorkshirePudding on December 8, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    I'm really looking forward to a challenging series, Paksitan have put the troubles of 2009-2010 behind them and have moved on, under Misbah they have a fairly stable batting unit, and thier bowling unit is going to be a handful.

  • on December 8, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    go PAKISTAN go WIN AGAINST ENGLAND !! LAHORE PAKISTAN

  • on December 8, 2011, 15:42 GMT

    So he thinks the world cup finalists weren't a TEST?

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  • on December 8, 2011, 15:42 GMT

    So he thinks the world cup finalists weren't a TEST?

  • on December 8, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    go PAKISTAN go WIN AGAINST ENGLAND !! LAHORE PAKISTAN

  • YorkshirePudding on December 8, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    I'm really looking forward to a challenging series, Paksitan have put the troubles of 2009-2010 behind them and have moved on, under Misbah they have a fairly stable batting unit, and thier bowling unit is going to be a handful.

  • dariuscorny on December 8, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    if Pakistan bats decently against England i think they hv enough depth in spin department to destroy England.Pakistan has its biggest worry in their batting

  • Sinhaya on December 8, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    Pakistan will definitely win the tests 3-0, ODIs 4-0 and T20s 3-0! England wont stand any chance against the spin combination of Ajmal, Rehman, Afridi, Hafeez and Malik. Fast bowlers Gul, Tanveer, Junaid Khan will get England out for double digit scores.

  • Vernacular_Press on December 8, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    England is just a pushover(in batting friendly conditions) outside those overcast conditions and i dont think stuart broad will be available. So i wont be difficult for pakistan to beat or may be draw.

  • zesh92 on December 8, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    after the controversial tour of eng pakistan have done pretty well drawing test series against SA winning test series against NZ and reach world cup semis have recently beaten sri lanka hope so we can show good result in UAE against eng .. GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN TEAM :)

  • on December 8, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    yup Eng will be real test, and Inshallah Pak will do well :)

  • netcricketfan4ever on December 8, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    Personally, I would like Afridi to be included in the Test squad as a spinner. If he bats and scores, it will be a plus but I think he can easily make his way into the Test team as a second spinner. I hope he reconsiders he can make a come back to Test team as well.

  • TaylorSwift on December 8, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    My predictions for the tour. Tests will end in a 1-1 tie. Pakistan will win the ODIs 3-1 and T20s 2-1.