Pakistan v England in the UAE 2011-12 December 29, 2011

Aaqib Javed awaits 'clash of qualities'


Aaqib Javed, Pakistan's bowling coach, has said the upcoming series against England will be a "clash of qualities", and the side with more depth and variation in its bowling, and with more confident batsmen, will stand the best chance. Pakistan, who've lost just one Test in 2011, play three Tests, four ODIs and three Twenty20 matches against England, starting January next year.

"It's not only about a match between a No. 1 team and a No. 5 team but it's a clash of qualities," Aaqib told ESPNcricinfo. "The team that has more options in the bowling unit, the variations and the batsmen with more confidence in the conditions will have the upper hand."

England will be playing their first Test series since climbing to the No. 1 spot in the Test rankings during their 4-0 whitewash of India. They arrive in the UAE a week before Pakistan.

"England have maintained a good combination with both bat and ball but pressure is obviously on them and that is the difference," Aaqib said. "I have learnt that they are working extra hard - their batsmen are in India, bowlers are training in South Africa and they are coming to the UAE four days before so I am impressed how hard they are training. You get the feeling they know it's not an easy series for them as well."

Aaqib has been involved in coaching in Pakistan for almost a decade now. He was with the national team on an on-and-off basis since 2009, first as bowling coach and then assistant coach, before he was removed from that position ahead of the tour of Zimbabwe this year. Now, back as bowling coach, he is working with Junaid Khan, the left-arm seamer, at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

"We have picked some outstanding bowlers against England. We've got two left-arm seamers, Wahab [Riaz and Junaid, two right armers, Umar [Gul] and Aizaz [Cheema] and three quality spinners - [Saeed] Ajmal, [Abdur] Rehman and [Mohammad] Hafeez. I think we have a dream combination and it's the world's best bowling attack.

"Though the pitches in the UAE are slower, we have bowlers who can last the time, like they did against Sri Lanka. We have bowlers who can bowl at 150-plus kph and can reverse-swing. That is another plus point for us."

England and Pakistan will be facing each other for the first time in a Test series since the spot-fixing controversy in July 2010. Aaqib said the team had moved on from that difficult phase. "Despite all the controversies, we coped well. We are confident and in a perfect winning flow," Aaqib said. "We don't talk even talk about it and are not bothered about it. Every individual is focussed on his responsibility."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 1, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    by the end of 2012 it will be intresting to see which team will be on the top of test rankings im nt sure england gt the depth to dominate the game for years like australia did. gud cricket to follow all 2012 and im lukin forward to see pak v eng and asia cup

  • Martin on December 31, 2011, 22:00 GMT

    @PakCric369 - Not a problem! Pakistan fans are welcome in the burrow any time. I have a bat with Javed Miandad's signature on it! (1986 The Oval. Fantastic!). Watched Zaheer Abbas a few times in the 70's playing for Gloucestershire (Great Team!). Great players.

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    i will go for this english team in first test and i believe barmy army support english team my team strauss cook bell trott pietersen morgan prior broad ande erson swann tremlet best of luck

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    I think Pakistan need right now is to improve on their strike rates in test. Hopefully the UAE pitches will be better than the ones used just now in East Pakistan. Final line up for Pakistan: 1. Hafeez 2. T Umar 3. Younis 4. Misbah 6. U Akmal 7. A Akmal 8. W Riaz 9. U Gul 10. S Ajmal 11. A Rehman

  • syed on December 31, 2011, 1:08 GMT

    Both teams have good bowlers. If Pakistan's top order holds, they will be in good shape. If England's middle order hold's, they will have an edge. Pakistan lost the opportunity to strengthen their top batting order by adding quality players from the domestic pool in the past two nation series against the minnows. PCB still doesn't have a transparent stats-based selection process, so the advantage goes to England.

  • Tom on December 30, 2011, 23:50 GMT

    It'll be a close series for sure as Pakistan and England are preparing very hard for it. England has more quality and experience but Pakistan is more consistent for the last two years in every form of cricket so its hard to predict the outcome.

  • Dummy4 on December 30, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    Wahab Riaz needs to correct his wrist position and develop the inswinger to the right hand batsmen, otherwise his days are numbered. Also Pakistan needs to look for new bread of fast bowleers. Aizaz Cheema is getting wickets but frankly he does not have the potential to become a great bowler. He neither has the speed nor the ability to move the ball in the air and off the pitch in both directions.Also because of his action he cannot extract bounce and I think he will be tested against good batsmen.Again Junaid Khan has to improve his inswinger to the right hand batsman.These are small things which make a big difference in the final result of a test match.

  • Jonny on December 30, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    Morgan to be man of the series. Really think this will be the series where he puts and end to any doubters of his test match credentials. I think he is one of the most destructive players of spin bowling in world cricket and the pitches here and in the sub continent will suit the way he plays. He has numerous attacking options against spin and I really hope he shows the world what he can do. As for Pak, I think Umar Gul will be the key bowler as you need to take early wickets against England, or they will bat the opposition out of the game, aka Ashes 2010/11 and India 11. Ajmal is a quality bowler but I think the English side at present can actually play spin better than supporters of Ind/Pak imagine. Also @ RandyOz, Australia are shocking at the minute and can't bat, so talk of them at the minute as a superpower is a joke. Pakistan would smash Aus atm

  • Bilawal on December 30, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    @5wombats... Thank you for your support... We Pak fans just want good cricket from both sides and may the best 1 win... I just hope the fans from both sides don't bash each other.. I want them to show some respect to each other and to the great game we call CRICKET!!! I would also like to thank our SL and Indian friends for the support!! Good luck to both sides.

  • arsalan on December 30, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    @ LillianThomson nice observation on Ajmal. But since he's started using the around the wicket angle he's become much less reliant on that Left-armer rough than before. In any case, its going to be an entertaining series what with all the history between the two sides.

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