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

Aaqib Javed awaits 'clash of qualities'

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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

  • 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

  • 5wombats 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • AnotherCricketer 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.

  • likeintcricket 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.

  • 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.

  • jonnybtestmatch 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

  • PakCric786 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.

  • ariez 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.

  • 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

  • 5wombats 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • AnotherCricketer 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.

  • likeintcricket 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.

  • 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.

  • jonnybtestmatch 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

  • PakCric786 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.

  • ariez 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.

  • on December 30, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    Totally agree with Prasanna Krishnamachari. Pakistan will need to b a lot more aggressive in their approach. Especially there batsmen nd will need to take their chances in the field.

  • RandyOZ on December 30, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    Pakistan to win, Bell to get shown up for the bunny he is, Swann to get shown up for the...oh wait he already was found out against india, and only the South Africans will score runs.

  • dmqi on December 30, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    First test, flat pitch with both Ajmal and Rehman, try to win the test as Pak batting line is good in flat pitch. 2nd test, fast pitch with 3 fast bowlers, drop rehman, if can't win1st test. 3rd test try anything in between. With this Pakistan may win 1-0. I prefer other fast bowlers over Gul, who is not consistent, and he forgot his reverse swing. Cheema did a good job in Bangladesh. Do not forget England is #1 and Pak is #5. Sl beat SA by a big margin, so it is your turn now.

  • on December 30, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    the only concern for Pakistan is to chose two spinners or one against a batting line as strong as England. this will be interesting to see. cant wait for the big moment. bring it on..........

  • on December 30, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    it will be a good contest between two very good teams but pak hav got to be more aggressive in their approach !!!

  • ExplicitPlatinum on December 30, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    A lot of people here are mentioning England's deep batting line which is true, but I believe that Pakistan can handle England's lower order like Broad, Bresnan and Swann. Pakistan's lower order can bat too like Rehman ( I don't recommend him against England), Ajmal, Adnan can bat a bit, Wahab can bat better than Bresnan and Junaid can have his chance here. Don't know why Rameez Raja keeps on saying that Umar Gul can bat of which I believe he can't bat. Pakistan will surely beat England in the tests and climb up to higher ranks.

  • on December 30, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    @ Stephen Kissoon This guy knows a little about bowling attacks was one of pakistans great bowlers only problem for him was that he was first change after wasm and waqar and after him was mushtaq so not enough wickets to get around... i think he already knows england have a good attack but also untried on these surfaces...

  • on December 30, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    I think the English are being just a bit too cocky too soon. The story would have been much different if it had been an England tour of India. Test matches are won by bowlers not batsman. I think the Pakistani batsman are decent enough to play on dead tracks. I think the Pakistani bowling is well equipped to handle a dead track. They are much better exponents of reverse swing on these dead pitches than the English. The English bowlers on the other hand are vulnerable in the sub-continent, except for Swann he'll be the key. The only real advantage England has over Pakistan is their fielding. The pitches will be dead as expected. You can't blame the groundsman for it as well, how do you expect a green top in a desert?

  • on December 30, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    No advantage to Pakistan I guess, England current lot played in Australia where there's equally similar hot conditions like in the UAE... So stop making fool of yourselves by saying we have ample advantage over England...

  • khurramsch on December 30, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    main thing is will pak play 2-2 combination or 3-1 . i think in start they should go with 3 seamers & ajmal,hafez. or if they are batting 4th they should pick seamer & if bowling 4th then spiner.we have seen during sl series that at times pak badly missed backup seamer. they realy miss a medium pace batting allrounder

  • r1zzy on December 30, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    @ 5wombats...spot on mate. England are the best team in the world at moment but IF Pakistan turn up then it will be a cracking series...heres to hoping. Best of luck to both teams i hope its a great series...ps i wouldnt mind if its really boring and Pak won though! lol

  • on December 30, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    I have this feeling that most of the matches would end up in a draw. Both Pak & Eng batsman have the capability to stay for long & also both the bowling attacks are capable of taking 20 wickets. But the surfaces in UAE wont help them. I would love Pak to win, but known best for the batting collapse, they will do very good if they draw or will lose 1-0.

  • UmerArain on December 30, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    Is this Mastana Mahi dude for real? Playing a test on rather flat wickets with six bowlers? Which teams goes into a test match with six bowlers and without a specialist wicket keeper? LOL

    Hopefully Pakistan will go in with 2 pacers and 2 spinners, I'll prefer Gul/Junaid along with Wahab or more ideally Wahab and Junaid with two spinners.

  • KashifMuneer on December 30, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    I don't agree with Mastana Mahi's team. We need 7 batsmen and 4 bowlers. Hafeez can be the 5th bowler where needed. England batting is deep with Bresnan, Broad and Swann at 8, 9 and 10 so we need to strenhen our batting as well. Playing XI should be 1. Taufeeq 2. Hafeez 3. Azhar Ali 4. Younis 5. Misbah 6. Umar Akmal 7. Adnan Akmal 8. Rehman 9. Ajmal 10. Gul 11. Junaid Khan in my opinion. Umar Akmal can't be a test keeper so I don't know where people are getting these ideas from?

  • on December 30, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    England have a better pace attack but it will be spin that decides things in UAE and ajmal is better than Swann on any given day.

  • Dimitri_SL on December 30, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    All the very best to our brothers in Green....you have raw talent in your side and a guy with the best cricketing brains and temprement to lead your side....(Who reminds us a lot of our W/C winning captian of 96) Furthermore if Im not mistakent Dave Whatmore has been appointed as your coach who will do wonders to any side he undertakes...With the talent you have in your side and the able Coaching/Management staff put in to the mix the future looks very bright for PAK cricket.....GOOD LUCK FOR THE SERIES AGAINST ENG AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR PAKISTANI BROTHERS......FROM SRI LANKA.

  • on December 30, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    Totally forgot Azhar Ali. 1. Hafeez 2. Taufeeq 3. Azhar Ali 4. Misbah 5. Shafiq 6. U Akmal (wk) 7. W Riaz 8. A Rehman 9. U Gul 10. Cheema 11. Junaid. This will put good pressure on Asad and umar Akmal

  • on December 30, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    @subbass,, Considering the ground realty and hard facts, I find it hard to resist with your assessment. In all possible 4 batting innings during the two test games, I will be pleasantly surprised to see Pak team reaching 300. I am expecting an extremely poor batting technique of Hafeez, Taufeeq, and Farhat getting exposed and combined with super defensive captaincy of Misbah we are in for a 2-0 bashing. I am sure our pace bowlers' confidence will also be shattered into pieces when they try to defend small totals and are thrashed all over the park by a very deep English batting line. ODI will perhaps be a see-saw show, and T20 games have ENGLAND written all over them.

  • LillianThomson on December 30, 2011, 4:10 GMT

    A lot depends upon whether Pakistan pick a left-arm paceman. When they do, Ajmal does well using his rough. When they don't Ajmal becomes toothless, just as Saqlain did when Wasim Akram gave up test cricket. I suspect we might be looking at 3 drawn tests, because I think the bowlers will really struggle.

  • rawcrickettalent on December 30, 2011, 2:52 GMT

    well well well....all i can say is that i CANT wait for 17 January!!!!!!! this will be my Pak team 1.M.Hafeez 2.Taufeeq Umar 3.Azhar Ali 4.Younis Khan 5.Misbah(capt) 6.U.Akmal 7.Adnan Akmal(WK) 8.Junaid Khan 9.Wahab Riaz 10.Aizaz Cheema 11.Saeed Ajmal................Drop Gul cause he has done nothing lately ...as for the English team...i think they are a solid team and we have got to exploit their spin weakness...the test series will be THRILLING!!!!!!!! the odis even more cause boom boom will be back ::DDDD

  • Kak-mal_Khan on December 30, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    @dannybhatti very well analysed, you seem to follow cricket with a broader appreciation of the game, would like to see more fellow cricket fans like you making comments. Therefore as you have mentioned the strengths of both teams I would like to offer my take on the weaknesses. Pakistan - as good as the bowlers are, Pak have lacked the same intensity in backing them up in the field, going back to the 1st drawn Test against Sri Lanka, Test match against England at Trent Bridge and the infamous Test match against Australia in Sydney, these matches saw Pakistan lose hold or fight in a game due to their poor catching ability, and need to be improved in this area to succeed against England. England - Although Pietersen can be devastating at times, he has not had that same rate of success against Pakistan. I think his loss of wicket early on in an innings can see England capitulate against a varied attack, so he is very much a flaw in a side which will need to get used to the UAE.

  • on December 30, 2011, 1:31 GMT

    Is it just me or is Aqib Javed running faster than our cricketers in the picture? He looks more fresh and energetic than the rest in the picture.

  • on December 30, 2011, 1:30 GMT

    or the second option of test squad if they wanna go along with Younis Khan... 1. Hafeez 2. A Shafiq 3. Y Khan 4. Misbah 5. U Akmal 6. U Gul 7. W Riaz 8. S Ajmal 9. A Rehman 10. Cheema 11. Junaid

  • on December 30, 2011, 1:27 GMT

    I think the best combination to go for in the first test for Pakistan is 1. Mohd Hafeez 2. T Umar 3. Asad Shafiq 4. Mu Haq 5. U Akmal wk 6. A Rehman 7. W Riaz 8. Gul 9. Junaid 10. S Ajmal 11. Cheema... Try taking out Younis Khan & replace Adnan Akmal with his brother U Akmal for the first test see how this plays out.

  • dmqi on December 30, 2011, 1:16 GMT

    Mr. Aqib Javed, Like you many of your past captains, coaches said,"we have the best batsman in the world ( inzamam), best bowler( Wasim,Waker and Amir the latest). And Gul was supposed to demolish top of Indian world cup semifinal team in his opening 5 overs. In reality all these best you have claimed performed very poorly in some critical matches. Yes, you have a very good bowling attack, but may have to prove that first against top team. We will find out soon. Even if you have the best attacking bowlers, you do not have the best batting line up and definitely a poor fielding side, famous for drop catches. I hope it will be a competitive series and I am waiting for it to enjoy.

  • wakaPAK on December 30, 2011, 1:06 GMT

    Playing the present English team is probably the most difficult task for any test nation country and it's undeniably THE best side in the world. but pakistan has history of nagging and giving a tough time to the best teams like 70s 80s WI, Aussies even England in the last series and it's because of the variety of options pakistan have with the ball. Anyone can click and when one click, it gives the other a boost. If Pak fielding is good, there's a chance Pak can win the series.

  • dodi4diana on December 30, 2011, 0:44 GMT

    i love my team pakistan and cant wait to see team england which won against india and ausralia very convincingly to play eachother in desert of UAE.england spin coach mushtaq ahmed would be very useful for monty and party.what a challenge for pakistan to face england who is at such a rise and our batting would surely be tested.

  • on December 29, 2011, 23:38 GMT

    um ... something please tell this dude england have the best attack in the world :p

  • on December 29, 2011, 23:05 GMT

    Don't forget, this Pakistani success period started when the same team drew 2 matched against SA last year in the same venues, n the best Bowling attack of the world, Steyn and Morkel struggled alot against Pak. So we can expect this as a Pakistan show. Now the team has got winning combination. Familiar with the conditions as well. And going with loads of confidence.

  • on December 29, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    @5wombats always welcome comments from someone who knows about cricket rather than bashing out stats from all over the place... pakistan are clearly in a rebuilding phase and england are no.1 so i dont want to get carried away i think this is a great series for pakistan and england as pakistan can learn from england series about themselves and i believe england can also learn from Pakistan on playing on these surfaces. it will be a test for both sides no pun intended! cant wait for the series!

  • dannybhatti on December 29, 2011, 22:12 GMT

    Now my take of english side..... Cook and Strauss solid and classic can make good wickets stands, trott would be the one to watch as he can score runs wherever he want... if he's in touch you can expect a solid show... KP does know how to pressurize the opponents and then i would go with BELL to make some good score as he can play spin better than any other english player. No. 6 is eoin, no matter what i know this guy can play and he's a legend in making.... Matt is another gem, who can play with the tail and make some good contributions... Swann and broad can be handy with the bat. As per the bowling for England I would rather see Monty and Swann both getting a go, as they can exploit the conditions, if england go with 5 bowlers it would be good for them as swann and broad can play big innings with matt.

  • on December 29, 2011, 22:02 GMT

    Hope junaid will b the key and star of the future

  • TaylorSwift on December 29, 2011, 21:54 GMT

    @5wombats - We appreciate your kind words, mate. Here's hoping that this series lives up to its hype. Looking forward to rational and analytical feedback from English fans throughout the series.

  • TaylorSwift on December 29, 2011, 21:43 GMT

    @Stark62 / Rakim - Tanvir and Cheema have both had decent outings but unfortunately they are over 30 and not good enough to be long-term solutions. I would primarily rely on Wahab, Junaid and Gul against England. Sadaf should probably be given a chance against Bangladesh in April before we draft him for more important tours.

  • dannybhatti on December 29, 2011, 21:37 GMT

    Well I would say it will be the best series to start the year. Both teams have equal chances to beat each other. England would be having problems against Junaid Khan and Ajmal, Gul can be dangerous but he needs to find his rythm. Haven't seen Wahab bowl lately but he can be handy with the old ball as he can generate reverse swing. Rehman is not a quality bowler but can dry up runs which will drive the batsmen to make sum mistakes. As per the batting goes, in last 4 years this is the best batting line up we got. Taufeeq is solid, Hafeez can play the shots and stay on the pitch, Azhar Ali is a class act, Younis and Misbah can be dangerous if stayed longer than 50 deliveries, I would go with Shafiq at no.6.... this lad can bat ! I would want Umar to keep and bat at 7 as he can bat with the tail ! They should go with Gul, Ajmal, Junaid and Riaz as 4 specialist bowlers

  • subbass on December 29, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    The key for England is not only quality bowlers, and be warned Finn is probably just about the quickest bowler in the world right now, (if not then there is not many quicker) but a deep batting line up(Swann at 9/10, Prior batting with the tail at number 7) that can get us out of trouble. Pakistan does not have this depth and it is a HUGE advantage in Test cricket to have this. I'm not sure the wickets will be all flat it's not as simple as that, in fact in 3 Tests I expect at least one of them NOT to be dominated by the bat and another to be won by England with a last day collapse for Pakistan.So final score - 2-0 England and if i am wrong, a 1-1 draw.

    The 50 over series is where I see us struggling and I predict a comfortable win(3-1) for Pakistan there, but I can't make a confident call on the T20 series as that looks pretty even, but it is no fluke that we are world number one and world cup holders in this format, so I shall go for 2-1 England here.

  • on December 29, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    @Aragorn_11=you are so damn right by saying "batsmen are facing the best bowling attack in the world in nets everyday", and also Ajmal is going to show us the new delivery that he is preparing for, all in all I hope (Inshallah) Pak wins this series, if not with a big margin but PAK 1-0 would be pleasing for many! GO PAKISTAN!!

  • KashifMuneer on December 29, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    I believe that Pak should play a right hand and left hand pace bowling combination (Umar Gul and Junaid Khan in my opinion). The only other question is whether we play Asad Shafiq or Umar Akmal. I would like to see Umar Akmal as Pak will need to be more aggressive in circumstances where we need to attack. We have rightly been accused of lacking the attacking instinct while batting and its time to change that with Umar Akmal in the team. England have 5 pace bowlers in the squad and flat and slow pitches. Will they play 2 or 3 pacers is the question.

  • 5wombats on December 29, 2011, 20:41 GMT

    Looks like the war of words has started...! @jonnybtestmatch - hey mate; We wouldn't be so pessimistic with the "dull series" stuff. We think this will be a good series. C'mon - we're number one! Lets enjoy it! These days England are always good to watch. Certainly agree that Pakistan must not under any circumstances be under-estimated. They will fight! One thing is sure - us England fans will make many friends. Pakistanis are the most hospitable and knowledgeable cricket followers. They have had far too much to put up with in recent years and certainly deserve all our support. It's gonna be great!

  • spence1324 on December 29, 2011, 20:22 GMT

    Not denying that pakistan have a good bowling attack but its a bit premature calling them a ' dream combination ' and the worlds best, surely having just dismantled the former no 1 team ( india ) and displaying a good ability to get reverse swing in the last ashes series and the away tour in Sa in 2010 should get england some sort of claim to that title.

  • on December 29, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    Why Tanvir Ahmed not picked with excellent record in UAE against South Africa with 6 on debut. He is ignored without any reason. This is unfortunate for a bowler who took 16 wickets in 4 tests.

  • hhillbumper on December 29, 2011, 19:43 GMT

    Lets see how we do shall we and go from there.Beating Zimbabwe does not make Paikistan a great team. Put some pressure on and they should fall apart as usual.

  • Stark62 on December 29, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    @ Rakim

    Yes, Cheema does bowl with a lot of heart and has a wealth of experience but so did Tanvir Ahmed and that too against the powerful batting line up of the South Africans, on even flatter pitches than the current one's in the UAE.

  • on December 29, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    Pls dont mention Danish Kaneria, I feel Ajmal, Rehman and Hafeez are the bowlers we need and I hope its Gul and Junaid Khan for our pace attack. England are suspect against spin and quality fast bowling and our young team proved they can bat by playing well against many teams including England and remember we havent played a home match for over 2 years. We have shown that we can adapt and we can fight and inshallah misbah will lead us to victory. Go PAKISTAN...

  • on December 29, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    i second that.teams like england have historically been vulnerable against wrist spinners.if kaneria has not been cleared,PCB should have considered other options.there are scores of leg spinners in our domestic circuit.and the PCB should expedite kaneria's case.this has gone on way too long.there should be some clarity now.for Pakistan's sake,misbah has to bring his team out with an attacking mindset.Pakistan should play to win.not to draw.bowling on tracks devoid of bouce and pace is going to be an ordeal for the english pacemen.the top 5 batsmen have to get their heads down and score and the fielders have to avoid the bloopers and catch everything that comes their way.this test series is likely to be fiercely contested

  • Rakim on December 29, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    @Stark62 : Still you can't deny Cheema's experience. The guy bowls his heart out in each delivery.

  • on December 29, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    Aqib needs to remind Gul something called a yorker, which a couple of years ago he was the best in the world at, and now doesn't even ball a single per match.

  • Rakim on December 29, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    I wouldn't write-off English bowlers. Anderson/Broad/Swan are top class bowlers too. And given our batting's strength we might see some collapses. It'll be a close series and I hope for a Pak win :D

  • Sachit1979 on December 29, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    Nice pic. Aaqib himself is appearing as racing with his fast bowling brigade. It is really a great site. He would definitely have good plan of action for his fast bowlers but I would like to see what is his strategy for spinners that has been real strength for Pakistan in recent past.

  • GreenTeam-Elite on December 29, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    Congratulation Aaqib for being bowling coach of Pakistani team!!! My Well Wishes with Green Shirts, Hope they will perform better and will show some Fighting Cricket!!! Good Luck Pakistan.

  • fahadalam1 on December 29, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    i think this will be a great series and the ties between both teams will improve too

  • crickprof on December 29, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    Aaqib Javed was a great talented fast bowler, he will be very successful as a bowling coach.

  • jonnybtestmatch on December 29, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    England to win a dull series 1-0 with a token Pakistani batting collapse to be the difference. Pitches they will play on will be flat and provide little assistance to any of the bowlers so reverse swing will be the key. Both sides now have exponents of the art but I believe the English batsmen will be able to deal with it better. I do not underestimate Pakistan, who will have a better attack than India and Aus, but think they can be vulnerable if pressure is applied when they bat. Morgan and Bell can be match winners for England and I beliver Umar Akmal can be for Pak, if selected. I hope the groundsmen provide result pitches as nobody likes watching a run fes, but sadly I think this is how it will turn out. Good luck to England but hope Pak can mount some challenge, unlike bottling India.

  • imi2839 on December 29, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    i dont think bowling is their problem, look out for their (pak) batting

  • manan_aslam on December 29, 2011, 15:41 GMT

    I think we should play with Three Fastbowler and Onespinner.

    My playing XI. M. Hafeez, T. Umar, A. Ali, U. Akmal (WK), Y. Khan, A. Shafiq, Misbah (Cap), W. Riaz , Umar Gul, Junaid Khan/ Aizaz Cheema, Saeed Ajmal.

    i dont know the Condition but we in Our Last test Series against Srilanka that One Fastbowler was Missing or an another Qualoty Spinner D. Kaneria Should be in Place if we want play with Two Spinner. I think A. rehman is good but he had not much variaty like D. Kaneria

    What do you think

  • Aragorn_11 on December 29, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    I'm pretty confident Aaqib Javed is right, Pakistan have the most balanced attack in the world and with so much variety right-arm seam, left-arm seam, right-arm spin, left-arm spin, doosra, reverse swing, pace....it's all there....but the batsmen have to perform, however these batsmen are facing the best bowling attack in the world in nets everyday...so they won't be fazed by anyone else...they're facing the best already!

  • TaylorSwift on December 29, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    Aaqib is an ideal teacher for the young Pakistani fast bowlers. It will be interesting to see what combo is used for the England tests: 2 fast bowlers and 2 spinners or 3 fast bowlers and 1 spinner. I would be inclined to go with the latter combo but Ajmal and Rehman in tandem have the potential to cause problems for the English batsmen.

  • Stark62 on December 29, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    Adul Rehman isn't a quality spinner and the best left arm bowler in Pak isn't even in the squad (Sadaf Hussain).

    Also, Cheema isn't anything special and even Tanvir Ahmed was a better option but he was dropped for no reason but Cheema took an advantage by performing against the likes of Zimb and Bang (he hardly played against SL).

  • on December 29, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    england has the slightly edge in fast bowling while Pakistan are spinner are doing well then any other in the world.................. infact its not a battle between Ajmal & Swan its battle between England Pace & Pakistan Spin

  • on December 29, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    we have got bowlers who can bowl at 150kmph plus... and then we have got batsmen who can all get out under the total of 150 runs hehehe so thats the only worry for me . if our batsmen can hold on , we will thrash England like peanuts and thats for sure ...

  • yorkshirematt on December 29, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    Pakistan have been doing a lot of talk already in the build up to this series. But can they transform their words into actions?

  • ExplicitPlatinum on December 29, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    Pakistan's bowling is being looked after well and is really looking to rattle the stumps. But the batting has got a question mark on it. Why? We haven't heard anything about the positives in Pak's batting training from the coaches. I'm kinda worried about the cycle Hafeez goes through. Sometimes he makes a great innings, sometimes he throws it away for a single digit. Taufeeq, strangely, has had an excellent 2011. Azhar Ali is the most important batsmen in the squad for me. If he makes a huge score, Younis can build on it and so can Misbah. Umar Akmal realised his mistakes in tests and needs proper coaching immediately as he has immense talent. I hope that Saeed Ajmal has perfected his new delivery and that it does not backfire. I suggest resting Aizaz Cheema as he looks somewhat ordinary but not bad. Junaid Khan is being treated well and that's a great sign. I still don't know who to choose between Abdur Rehman and Mohammad Hafeez. Batting needs to be looked at immediately.

  • sirvivfan on December 29, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    I agree Pakistan have the bowling to win. The main issue will the batsmen be displined enough and play text match innings, which they have show.n recently. Some of the batsmen are still uncertain around the off stump area. They should be prepared to leave good balls outside the off stump area and be prepared to bat 140 overs + in each innings and look to put up 370 +. If they do this and have strategy to deal with the short pitch bowling.... Pakistan will win. Naturally catching will also be crucial. The bowlers will come up against good bracken and should be prepared to see one or two good stands but they are good enough to cause Collapses. As Aqib says Pressure is on the English to prove they deserve no 1 status! Already they are taking about leaving a legacy! I wish I was playing. Good luck Pakistan. Be brave. Riaz

  • h.m.u.f.c on December 29, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    Inshallah pakistan will prove themselves to be an extra ordinary

  • on December 29, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    Being the first to comment on this:).... I do agree with Aqib Javed but i would say that they are missing a legspinner, i have Danish Kaneria in my mind when i say this, a man with 260+ test wickets! Dont know the reason for the waste of talent!!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on December 29, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    Being the first to comment on this:).... I do agree with Aqib Javed but i would say that they are missing a legspinner, i have Danish Kaneria in my mind when i say this, a man with 260+ test wickets! Dont know the reason for the waste of talent!!!

  • h.m.u.f.c on December 29, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    Inshallah pakistan will prove themselves to be an extra ordinary

  • sirvivfan on December 29, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    I agree Pakistan have the bowling to win. The main issue will the batsmen be displined enough and play text match innings, which they have show.n recently. Some of the batsmen are still uncertain around the off stump area. They should be prepared to leave good balls outside the off stump area and be prepared to bat 140 overs + in each innings and look to put up 370 +. If they do this and have strategy to deal with the short pitch bowling.... Pakistan will win. Naturally catching will also be crucial. The bowlers will come up against good bracken and should be prepared to see one or two good stands but they are good enough to cause Collapses. As Aqib says Pressure is on the English to prove they deserve no 1 status! Already they are taking about leaving a legacy! I wish I was playing. Good luck Pakistan. Be brave. Riaz

  • ExplicitPlatinum on December 29, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    Pakistan's bowling is being looked after well and is really looking to rattle the stumps. But the batting has got a question mark on it. Why? We haven't heard anything about the positives in Pak's batting training from the coaches. I'm kinda worried about the cycle Hafeez goes through. Sometimes he makes a great innings, sometimes he throws it away for a single digit. Taufeeq, strangely, has had an excellent 2011. Azhar Ali is the most important batsmen in the squad for me. If he makes a huge score, Younis can build on it and so can Misbah. Umar Akmal realised his mistakes in tests and needs proper coaching immediately as he has immense talent. I hope that Saeed Ajmal has perfected his new delivery and that it does not backfire. I suggest resting Aizaz Cheema as he looks somewhat ordinary but not bad. Junaid Khan is being treated well and that's a great sign. I still don't know who to choose between Abdur Rehman and Mohammad Hafeez. Batting needs to be looked at immediately.

  • yorkshirematt on December 29, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    Pakistan have been doing a lot of talk already in the build up to this series. But can they transform their words into actions?

  • on December 29, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    we have got bowlers who can bowl at 150kmph plus... and then we have got batsmen who can all get out under the total of 150 runs hehehe so thats the only worry for me . if our batsmen can hold on , we will thrash England like peanuts and thats for sure ...

  • on December 29, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    england has the slightly edge in fast bowling while Pakistan are spinner are doing well then any other in the world.................. infact its not a battle between Ajmal & Swan its battle between England Pace & Pakistan Spin

  • Stark62 on December 29, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    Adul Rehman isn't a quality spinner and the best left arm bowler in Pak isn't even in the squad (Sadaf Hussain).

    Also, Cheema isn't anything special and even Tanvir Ahmed was a better option but he was dropped for no reason but Cheema took an advantage by performing against the likes of Zimb and Bang (he hardly played against SL).

  • TaylorSwift on December 29, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    Aaqib is an ideal teacher for the young Pakistani fast bowlers. It will be interesting to see what combo is used for the England tests: 2 fast bowlers and 2 spinners or 3 fast bowlers and 1 spinner. I would be inclined to go with the latter combo but Ajmal and Rehman in tandem have the potential to cause problems for the English batsmen.

  • Aragorn_11 on December 29, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    I'm pretty confident Aaqib Javed is right, Pakistan have the most balanced attack in the world and with so much variety right-arm seam, left-arm seam, right-arm spin, left-arm spin, doosra, reverse swing, pace....it's all there....but the batsmen have to perform, however these batsmen are facing the best bowling attack in the world in nets everyday...so they won't be fazed by anyone else...they're facing the best already!