Pakistan v England 2011-12 December 31, 2011

We will have to exceed abilities to beat England - Taufeeq

ESPNcricinfo staff
121

Taufeeq Umar, the Pakistan opening batsman, has said that the upcoming Test series against World No. 1 England will be a tough one for his side despite their impressive recent run. Pakistan lost only one Test in 2011, and went through the year without a series loss, but Taufeeq admits that England will test their new-found resolve to the hilt.

"England have been performing very well and their team combination is a very strong one with all of their players in good form," Taufeeq told PakPassion.net. "We saw last summer in England, when India was touring there, just what a powerful team England are. The series will undoubtedly be a very competitive and tough one for Pakistan. I think that in order for Pakistan to defeat England we will have to play above our level of ability."

Taufeeq made just 18 runs in his only Test against England, in 2006, and was dropped for four years following that failure. He, however, insists that things will be different this time. "I've played just the one Test match against England at Headingley, which was not a memorable occasion, but I feel that I am in good form, and I'm really looking forward to playing against England and will look to perform well."

Taufeeq expects the bowlers to hold the key in the series, which will be played on flat tracks in the UAE, in conditions that England aren't very used to. "My cricketing experience over the years has taught me that a world-class bowler will perform well on any surface," Taufeeq said. "The England bowling line-up is a world-class one and they know how to bowl in the conditions they will encounter in the UAE. They will be fully prepared and totally aware of what adjustments they need to make to counter the conditions. Their bowling attack has played in the subcontinent previously so it's not as if they are going out there for the first time. However, we played really well against South Africa and Sri Lanka in the UAE and if we play to our potential we can give England a hard time."

Taufeeq has been integral to Pakistan's resurgence after the team had a controversy-marred 2010. He returned to the side in November that year, and went on to forge a highly successful opening partnership with Mohammad Hafeez. Since his return, Taufeeq has made 968 runs in 12 Tests with three centuries, including a maiden double-ton against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi - an innings he terms the best of his career.

"There was a lot of pressure on me in November 2010 when I made my comeback," Taufeeq said. "I think you feel more pressure when you are making a comeback than you do when you are making your international debut. I'm really satisfied with the way things have gone for me since my comeback and it was really pleasing to be Pakistan's top-scorer in Tests in 2011. I'm really proud of this achievement but most importantly it meant that my performance helped the team perform well through the year."

Taufeeq's advent and Hafeez's sparkling run have given Pakistan a stable opening pair - a luxury they have not enjoyed since the days of Saeed Anwar and Aamer Sohail. "The right- and left-handed opening combination isn't always easy for the opposition bowling attack and we enjoy batting with each other," Taufeeq said. "The fact that we get on very well off the field also helps, and that friendship and relationship carries onto the field when we bat together. We are both really proud that we have created a Pakistan record of opening the innings on 23 consecutive occasions and I firmly believe that when you are given an extended run in the team that builds one's confidence."

Taufeeq lauded Pakistan's selectors for sticking with the core of their Test line-up through the year. "Consistency in selection is absolutely imperative; in order to fully assess a cricketer you have to give that individual a proper and decent chance to establish himself and perform. Give the team a run of matches, let the combination settle and then see if the personnel is right. I feel that the selectors deserve credit for their approach at the moment."

Taufeeq's style fits well with captain Misbah-ul-Haq's measured approach to batting, a philosophy also evident in the way Younis Khan, Azhar Ali and Misbah himself go about their innings. Taufeeq was full of praise for Misbah' leadership after being handed the reins following the spot-fixing scandal.

"Misbah sets the example for the rest of us to follow and the team's recent success is largely down to his efforts. Misbah's attitude with all of his team-mates, on and off the field, is very professional and very friendly, and all the boys feel very comfortable with him. The atmosphere off the field is one of friendship between the players and Misbah, which is very important as I feel it helps matters on the field."

The Pakistan team will have a training camp from January 4 in Lahore before leaving for the UAE. The first Test against England will begin on January 17 in Dubai.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • spellbinder76 on January 4, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    Danish Kenaria was one bowler who could have troubled England. He got clearance from ICC and the county and then he went to court. PCB is playing a delaying tactics which clearly shows some officials don't want Danish in the team.

  • zarasochozarasamjho on January 3, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    So many comments and nobody mentioned fielding; very surprising if you follow Pakisan games. Just consider what would have happened if Pakistan did not drop 4 catches just of Tendulkar in the WC semi last year. A Pakistani bowler has to get a batsman out on average about twice in order to get him out. Other teams do not have this problem generally.

    Pak fielding is the worst, and as a result they will always struggle to go above 4th position in world rankings. Pakistani supporters do not even discuss fielding; what hope is there?

    However, I still hope that Pak can beat England and other teams, on the basis of a very effective captain and a board which at last is working with some coherent strategy.

  • Aragorn_11 on January 3, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    I love the whole Indian supporters bigging up their team over Pakistan...but once again proving how rubbish they are away from home for a 2nd successive series...anyways Pakistan vs England...gonna be tight....if you follow cricket truly you would say England nips the Tests, whilst Pakistan takes the ODIs and T20s...but it'll all come to the for on 17th January 2012....I'm a Pakistani fan, born and bred in England....but I hope for a Pakistani clean sweep of wins in all formats ;)

  • 200ondebut on January 3, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    Should be a great contest with two in-from sides. All this talk about the wickets is a bit misplaced - after all both sides have to bat and bowl on them. It will come down to who performs the best.

  • Shan156 on January 3, 2012, 3:57 GMT

    @Valavan, Happy New Year to you mate. Watching India fold against the Aussies at Sydney - one of their favorite away grounds. Of the two Sydney specialists, Laxman has fallen cheaply and I doubt he will play any part against us later this year. He definitely looks past it. Anyway, this is not the forum to analyze the Indian team. Let's worry about our immediate challenge - Pakistan is a good side and England will do well not to underestimate them (same the other way around). Can hardly wait for the series to start.

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 23:15 GMT

    @Valavan - Happy New Year! Goodonyer. Yep. India on their way down. @birdz_eye; mate, go easy on that big talk. We'll all friends here, and this is going to be a respectful series.

  • AnotherCricketer on January 2, 2012, 22:10 GMT

    Pakistan is a good bowling side. On the other hand, batting is far from ideal. They struggled to bat on the same pitches during the Sri Lanka series. Advantage goes to England.

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    @Shan156 - hey matie - happy new year! Dead right about Pakistan; great fans, great spirit. And inspite of it all - good cricket team. Yeah - they put Aus away in 2010 as well, we nearly forgot that! Any team that can put Australia away has to be pretty good. It's gonna be good!

  • Valavan on January 2, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    @wombats,@shan, Happy New year. Seems Indians will have more heartbreak than Pakistan if England wins the series :)). cricinfo please publish

  • ExplicitPlatinum on January 2, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    Now, we have now talked fully about what we will expect from the test series. I personally have to say that this bowling line up for Pakistan is great. For ODI's, there is a HUGE pool of Pakistani batsmen in the domestic circuit. We should pick a few players like Ahmed Shehzad, Fawad Alam, Nasir Jamshed, Usman Salahuddin, Hammad Azam, Rameez Raja and MANY more. We should consider this as England will be somewhat easy to beat in ODI's. I was a bit annoyed of Yasir Shah not being included in the SL ODI series as he can be a future prospect for legspin and he is handy with the bat. So maybe he could be included for the ODI series against England? But we must make sure that the main big guns are ready for England to topple them. And a few more things, England's batsmen won't do as well against Pak like they did with India as India have a weak bowling lineup so the England batsmen will get run through quite quickly. Azhar Ali should be included in the ODI format against England in my opnion

  • spellbinder76 on January 4, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    Danish Kenaria was one bowler who could have troubled England. He got clearance from ICC and the county and then he went to court. PCB is playing a delaying tactics which clearly shows some officials don't want Danish in the team.

  • zarasochozarasamjho on January 3, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    So many comments and nobody mentioned fielding; very surprising if you follow Pakisan games. Just consider what would have happened if Pakistan did not drop 4 catches just of Tendulkar in the WC semi last year. A Pakistani bowler has to get a batsman out on average about twice in order to get him out. Other teams do not have this problem generally.

    Pak fielding is the worst, and as a result they will always struggle to go above 4th position in world rankings. Pakistani supporters do not even discuss fielding; what hope is there?

    However, I still hope that Pak can beat England and other teams, on the basis of a very effective captain and a board which at last is working with some coherent strategy.

  • Aragorn_11 on January 3, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    I love the whole Indian supporters bigging up their team over Pakistan...but once again proving how rubbish they are away from home for a 2nd successive series...anyways Pakistan vs England...gonna be tight....if you follow cricket truly you would say England nips the Tests, whilst Pakistan takes the ODIs and T20s...but it'll all come to the for on 17th January 2012....I'm a Pakistani fan, born and bred in England....but I hope for a Pakistani clean sweep of wins in all formats ;)

  • 200ondebut on January 3, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    Should be a great contest with two in-from sides. All this talk about the wickets is a bit misplaced - after all both sides have to bat and bowl on them. It will come down to who performs the best.

  • Shan156 on January 3, 2012, 3:57 GMT

    @Valavan, Happy New Year to you mate. Watching India fold against the Aussies at Sydney - one of their favorite away grounds. Of the two Sydney specialists, Laxman has fallen cheaply and I doubt he will play any part against us later this year. He definitely looks past it. Anyway, this is not the forum to analyze the Indian team. Let's worry about our immediate challenge - Pakistan is a good side and England will do well not to underestimate them (same the other way around). Can hardly wait for the series to start.

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 23:15 GMT

    @Valavan - Happy New Year! Goodonyer. Yep. India on their way down. @birdz_eye; mate, go easy on that big talk. We'll all friends here, and this is going to be a respectful series.

  • AnotherCricketer on January 2, 2012, 22:10 GMT

    Pakistan is a good bowling side. On the other hand, batting is far from ideal. They struggled to bat on the same pitches during the Sri Lanka series. Advantage goes to England.

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    @Shan156 - hey matie - happy new year! Dead right about Pakistan; great fans, great spirit. And inspite of it all - good cricket team. Yeah - they put Aus away in 2010 as well, we nearly forgot that! Any team that can put Australia away has to be pretty good. It's gonna be good!

  • Valavan on January 2, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    @wombats,@shan, Happy New year. Seems Indians will have more heartbreak than Pakistan if England wins the series :)). cricinfo please publish

  • ExplicitPlatinum on January 2, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    Now, we have now talked fully about what we will expect from the test series. I personally have to say that this bowling line up for Pakistan is great. For ODI's, there is a HUGE pool of Pakistani batsmen in the domestic circuit. We should pick a few players like Ahmed Shehzad, Fawad Alam, Nasir Jamshed, Usman Salahuddin, Hammad Azam, Rameez Raja and MANY more. We should consider this as England will be somewhat easy to beat in ODI's. I was a bit annoyed of Yasir Shah not being included in the SL ODI series as he can be a future prospect for legspin and he is handy with the bat. So maybe he could be included for the ODI series against England? But we must make sure that the main big guns are ready for England to topple them. And a few more things, England's batsmen won't do as well against Pak like they did with India as India have a weak bowling lineup so the England batsmen will get run through quite quickly. Azhar Ali should be included in the ODI format against England in my opnion

  • on January 2, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Pakistan Batting Holds the Key,Their Bowling will performed and can take 20 wickets no doubt but still the required Runs on the Board and if their batter might able to do that they will gain the upper hand.This Test seires will give the Clear picture where these Two teams Stand If England will win they prove that they are Worthy number 1 test in the World and deflate their Critics who believes they are terrible on Turner.If Pakisan will win they take Giant step towards the Top side in the World even more their Self respect which has dented for wrong reason will galloped sky high

  • cric_fan__ on January 2, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    first try to improve your strike rate... that will help your team..

  • Shan156 on January 2, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    @5wombats, Happy New Year. I got it that you were referring to maddy's lectures and history lessons. I am not sure why Indian fans cannot accept defeat gracefully. It is not too hard to say "well played" to a team that beat you convincingly. Of course, not all Indian fans are like that. I, too, am looking forward to the series against Pakistan. Summer2010, except, of course, the spot-fixing controversy, was a lot of fun and even though we won the series, we were made to work really hard for our victory. Lot of Pakistani fans offered their congratulations to England and made no excuses about the series defeat. Pakistan played very well to beat Australia and England in a test each. And, it is amazing that they are still able to find very good players despite all the problems surrounding them. Pakistan will start as favorites only because they know the conditions better but I expect England to fight hard. Best of luck to both teams.

  • birdz_eye on January 2, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    This is it Pakistan you had your worst nightmares against England (2007 fore-feat & 2010 Scandal) You had your joyous moments against this England side first every away test victory in very first away test series, 1992 WC victory & Test series win against ashes winner of 2005) bring it on. England can't threat Pakistan with their quicks since this is the only subcontinent side who melts the quicks. Even Australia doesn't make fast tracks against us. Order of the day not a single thread of green grass on the wicket & watch the English quicks crying like hell :P

  • on January 2, 2012, 2:22 GMT

    I have a feeling Pakistan may win this series as England havent played test cricket for a number of months and dont play too much in conditions like dubai. Panesar is just coming into contention for the test team but since he has been out of the team Panesar hasnt show match winning performances like he did at Old Trafford against Pakistan in 2006. Pakistan are looking a very strong outfit and should put on hold Umar Akmal return to the test team as Akmal has the shots but doesnt quite have the temperament demanded in test cricket. Thanks to Hafeez in the side Pakistan have good balance in the side and on paper have a strong bowling attack. Its just a mattter of what Pakistan team turns up on the day,whether is the world class team of the team who makes silly mistakes.

  • on January 2, 2012, 1:28 GMT

    Okay, let's talk facts. Since the 12th November 2010 Pakistan has played 5 test matches in UAE. Of those 5 they have won 1. During this time the bowlers have had the following stats: Pace bowlers: Played 5: 2861 runs: 68 wickets: AVE: 42.073. Spin bowlers: Played 5: 2877 runs: 68 wickets: AVE: 42.31. Granted I may have confused a few part time bowlers (this would not have affected the overall result significantly). Batting: 5889 runs; 140 wickets: AVE 42.064. I think it is safe to say pace and spin are equal, but second to batting. A basic analysis would surmise that England have the better batsmen: Batsmen (over last two years: including OZ, Bang, Ind {who?} Pak, SA and SRI): AS, 32.43, AC 67.09, JT 58.27, KP 52.06, IB 86.80, EM 36.35, MP 48.29. PAK: MH, 38.85, TU,44.00, AA, 42.00, YK, 78.75, MUH, 66.40, AS, 39.16, AA, 29.75 (based on the second test versus Bangladesh and tests versus Aus, Bang, Eng, NWZ, SA, SRI, WI and Zim {Someone else can do the stats for who they actually score

  • on January 1, 2012, 22:57 GMT

    I have two points to make. First: 'England is only top because everyone else is worse'. Is this not the case whenever someone is top? Australia was not top due to others being better. They were top due to others being worse…or, okay, yes, they were better than the competition… and now England are. Okay, we might not be as dominant as the ozzies were, but we are at the start of 'our period'. Did anyone think oz would be as good as they were after the first year of them playing well… probably not (especially Indians!) Two: 'England will be playing in the sub-continent and it will be hot!' UAE is not sub-continent and currently is not hot. I checked the weather forecast today and it is 26 degrees. Yes, hot, but not so hot that England will melt. Believe it or not we do have the occasional day in the mid-twenties… we even hit thirty the other year! Bring on a very good series between two god sides. Could be first versus second in a few yeas time?

  • 5wombats on January 1, 2012, 22:10 GMT

    @Shan156; sorry mate I think my last post came out sounding all wrong - I know you weren't lecturing me about Chennai - maddy20 was. I was there and it was a pretty bad experience all round! This series with Pakistan is going to be good though. Pakistan fans are much more reasonable. Really looking forward to watching England as number 1 in Tests!

  • 5wombats on January 1, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    @Shan156; hey mate! Happy New Year! No, we won't be taking any lectures about what happened at Chidambaram Stadium in December 2008. I can't remember a Test where England scored 3 centuries in a match and still ended up losing! Our Indian friends need to think very carefully about writing England off as "no good on slow pitches". If that was the case - how did Strauss knock 2 tons @Chennai in 2008 and how did he blast a run-a-ball 150 in the 2011 WC against india? (an Innings that was far better than Tendulkars...). Strauss averaged 80+ on his last india tour, KP averaged 50 and Prior 44, and they'll be back in October with Bell, Cook, Trott and Morgan. We stood and applauded Sehwag as he walked off in the 2nd Inns at Chennai and Yuvraj and Tendulkar as they walked off having won that Test. Tendulkar played one of the great Test Innings. We appreciate fine cricket when we see it, even when we lose. We give credit where credit is due. We call this; being graceful in defeat.

  • pak78 on January 1, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    well taufeeq its simple wen u and hafeez cum out to bat please try to score quickely rather than 30 runs in 30 overrz lol

  • SirViv1973 on January 1, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    @Cricket00007, How can you say Sri lanka are a good side ? They have just won their first test match in 18 months! following a run of 12 games without a win. They have not won a test series for 2 and half yrs! As good as South Africa are they are very prone to at least one below par performance per series and fairplay to SRL they took advantage of that in Durban but that does not make them a good side.

  • Aura123 on January 1, 2012, 19:42 GMT

    England is number 1 test team for a reason and it will be very difficult series for Pak. I disagree with Taufeef that Pak has to exceed their abilities. I think Pak have the abilities in bowling , batting and fielding if they perform to their skill level at the same time then i am sure Pak can draw and even win the series. One thing is for sure that we will all watch very competetive and quality cricket in this series and i can't wait . Come on Pak

  • SirViv1973 on January 1, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    &IMEthan, It sounds as if you are still bitter about your team's 4 nil thrashing! Let's get one thing straight, there is no chance of Pak Crushing Eng in any conditions right now. They will be looking to be competitive in this series and I'm sure if you offered their management a drawn series right now they would bite your hand off for it! Pak can only win this series if Eng are seriously below par and I just don't see that happening right now as the Eng set up is too professional. As an Indian fan, if you can't put anything constructive on this board then stick to Aus v Ind or is it just too painful at the moment after loosing yet another test match away from home ?

  • Nutcutlet on January 1, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    Yes, of course England should win this series, but it certainly doesn't do to regard it as an easy campaign - far from it. Pakistan is a side brimming with confidence and their players are already match-seasoned and have been successful in the UAE recently. They can rely on vocal local support too. Their spinners pose the most potent threat to England's run-makers and England has not been confronted with much quality spin recently. Especially, I have my reservations about England's ability to counter the wiles of Ajmal. That said, England's quicks will get whatever life there is to be had out of the pitches and should have the edge on Gul & co. Pakistan's batting looks a tad brittle and they are not noted for great exploits in the field, but I am sure that they will raise their game for England! It is England's professionalism that should see them through as England is now more than the sum of their parts - that, above all, is what has driven them to #1. This will be worth watching!

  • CricketingStargazer on January 1, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    Cripes, cricket0007! You must have it in for India. Since beating Australia their "current" results have been pretty uniformly mediocre: 1-0 at home v New Zealand (3 Tests), 1-1 away v South Africa, 1-0 away v West Indies, 0-4 away v England and currently 0-1 down against Australia. By your measure you'd have them near the bottom of the Test rankings, below New Zealand. The Test ranking system is (a) pretty simple [you get more points for beating strong opposition than weak and more points for big series wins than narow ones] and (b) a lot fairer than just taking recent results which depend so much and where and who you play. That's why the ICC rankings are based on a 3 year cycle with recent results weighing most: a side is rewarded for consistent success and one or two bad results are not catastrophic, but consistent failure is.

  • spence1324 on January 1, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    @pak_guru think you need to apply for the pakistan coaches job!

  • yorkslanka on January 1, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    i truly believe that Ajmal will get more wickets than Swann in this series and will show that Ajmal is the best spinner in the world whereas Swann is overrated..(decent fella tho..)

  • Shan156 on January 1, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    @kevinpp24, are you sure about that? Even if we win in India, people would say that we may need to win in the moon or Jupiter:-) Fact is, these guys can never accept England as a good team but who cares? Let us enjoy the fact that England are the #1 team according to the ICC rankings which matters more than what some Indian fans think. The only problem with the ICC calendar this year is that we are playing far too many games - 15 tests and several ODIs and T20s in 2012. It is difficult to see any bowler (barring Swann, maybe) playing all the 15 tests. England have strength in depth in the fast bowling dept so it should not be a big problem. It is hard to see England winning all 5 test series this year - hopefully, we can win the ones at home easily and win a series or two in the sub-continent to shut some of these critics.

  • Shan156 on January 1, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    @5wombats, maddy20 should be ignored. He thinks Greg Chappell was involved with the Indian team then. Fact was, Chappell left the Indian set-up after the disastrous 2007 world cup campaign. India became a powerhouse after that - they won a series in England without a coach, followed it up with a hard-fought series in Australia where they did better than the 1-2 series result suggests and blitzed Australia at home in 2008. As you rightly point out, they were a powerhouse and not a team in turmoil. England still did pretty well (Strauss scored a century in each innings and England bowled India out cheaply in their first innings) but a Sehwag special and a masterclass century by Sachin led India to an incredible victory in Chennai. Some Indian fans simply cannot digest the fact that England knocked them off their perch.At least since 2000, England have never lost in the sub-continent the same way that India got stuffed in England.That said, a series win in Asia (excl Bang) is overdue

  • on January 1, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    No doubt...Pakistan is going to be the emerging Champ of the World...We always standed as a nation...when their is required.....This looks like equalance in strength of 1992 team....The difference is that1992 team strength is fast bowling but todays team strength is spinn.............Our spinners looks like to spin English Batsmans on their fingers.........Every one will see it..........Pakistan rocksss

  • CricketingStargazer on January 1, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    Incidentally, a look at the ICC Test rankings gives you an idea of England's recent success. From having no batsman in the top 15 a couple of years ago, England now have 4 of the top 10 and two in the top three, plus 3 of the top 4 bowlers and 3 of the top 7 all-rounders. India have just Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan in the top ten of any of the three lists: the same number of players as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Between them, England and South Africa have 17 of the top 30 in the three lists, which is an astonishing statistic.

  • cricket0007 on January 1, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    hahahaha well after reading all these comments , one thing is for sure everybody is waiting anxiously for this series .. doesnt matter if u r an indian or an aussie.. the whole world wants to see these 2 teams compete.. both teams had a brilliant last year and the outcome of this series would give us the current best side in the world.. and if pakistan beat lankans convincingly in the conditions of uae that suited lankan bowling attack and batsmen shows that pakistan is a strong side and lankans have proven that they r not a bad side either and absolutely thrashed south africans in the their conditions .. like i said before i dun believe in these rankings which are compiled by God knows who sitting in some room on a broken desk lol :P and with a mysterious criteria :P .. so i prefer to focus more on the current performances of the team instead of just the rankings..

  • Pak_Guru on January 1, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    Some suggestions to PAK team a. Start with Hafeez for the left handed English openers b. If possible use Umar Akmal as keeper, 7 batsmen a must against English attack c.No excuses for dropping catches in slip and silly mid off/on, practice better, enough time. d. Anderson and company will swing beware openers, esp. Taufeeq practice hard on ball coming in to your body ( watch Dravid videos ). e. No problem with Pak bowling, if fielders support well, they can easily get Eng out twice in all the test matches in the series. f. Batters practice hard on strike rotation( singles) and use of feet against Swaan. Panesar is avg. g. Trott & Morgan r the most dangerous, Ajmal & Rehman the answer. H. CRICINFO please share this with Misbah & Co. Humble request.

  • AliMughal on January 1, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    Need to spend time in nets .. keep practicing and you will be on top Taufeeq :-) England team can't do anything if you go with the basic .. best of luck Pakistan :-)

  • on January 1, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Currently England are way ahead of any other major test playing nation and deserve their No. 1 ranking. Whilst on current form TEAM PAKISTAN are capable of competing / beating any other test team but not England. In my opinion of the main batsmen Hafeez, Taufeeq and Shafiq will struggle against England's bowling attack although Azhar looks promising. Pakistan would have been better served if they had included Yusuf in the squad to support Yunus, Misbah and Umar Akmal in the batting line up. Pakistan lower order is unlikely to score many runs against England's bowling attack. In bowling Pakistan only have two experienced and world class bowlers in Gul and Ajmal whereas England have four in Anderson, Broad, Bresnon and Swann. Endland's reserve bowling is also very capable. Finally England's fielding is far superior to Pakistan's. On this basis and it is no disgrace that it is unlikely Pakistan would come out as winners of the test series against such a FORMIDABLE England test team.

  • spence1324 on January 1, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    @maddy LOL look at your own team before you sling mud at others,last 5 away tests lost all 5,even your preferred formats ODI'S AND 20-20 you can not win a game away in fact you won the world cup in india......NUFF said!

  • gunnerr4life on January 1, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    This will be a test for both sides ... If Pakistan are to win the test series , it is very important for them to put a decent show with the batting ! If they are able to do that then they have a very good chance ! The starting eleven should be : Hafeez , Taufeeq , azhar ali , Younis khan , Asad Shafiq , Misbah , adnan akmal , Gul , Wahab Riaz , Junaid Khan , Saeed Ajmal . ( perfect combination )

  • CricketingStargazer on January 1, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    5Wombats, most England fans expect and hope that Pakistan will give us a run for our money because it's only by taking on and defeating credible opposition that England will get some credit. India were so awful last summerthat it is understandable that people don't rate the win. I can't remember the time that I saw a 4-Test series without the opposition passing 300 at any time. The only place where I'd take issue with Maddy is his use of "supposed". Since Spring 2009 England have won 2-0 v the West Indies (whitewash), 2-1 v Australia, 1-1 v South Africa (away), 2-0 v Bangladesh (whitewash, away), 2-0 v Bangladesh (whitewash), 3-1 v Pakistan, 3-1 v Australia (away), 1-0 v Sri Lanka and 4-0 v India (whitewash) [I hope that I haven't forotten a series]. What more can the side do than hammer everything put in front of them? What's more it's been done with a side which has rarely had all its fast bowlers avalable, frequently going down to 6th and 7th choice picks to complete the attack

  • OhhhMattyMatty on January 1, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    Pakistan have a decent bowling attack. But they will have to score big runs in all 3 Tests to win, because 1 of England's top 7 will make a ton in every Test match. England have front line batsmen down to 7 and then 2 of the best batting bowlers in the world in Broad and Bresnan. You have to get through those 9 and then Swann TWICE in every match to win. Good luck!!!! While England will get through Younis and then be into the tail!

  • 5wombats on January 1, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    @maddy20. Given that india have lost their last consecutive 5 away Tests and given that Englands last 5 away Test results (in Australia) were lost 1, draw 1, won 3, there is really no need for anyone here to take your comments seriously. You persist with this idea that ODI form gives clue about Test form. It's not credible; India might be ODI world champs - but it doesn't mean they are great at Tests does it? BTW we know where the idea that "England can't play spin" came from; india fans who were trying to cover their embarressment after the whitewash. @maddy20 you should take notice of what @CricketingStargazer has to say. He is always realistic and credible. Please publish.

  • YorkshirePudding on January 1, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    The next 12 months is going to be the most challenging for this England team, they play 15 tests this year, with 9 being in Sub-continent conditions, and in recent times England have tended to struggle in these conditions. Pakistan have a good bowling attack and thier batting looks stronger than it did in 2010, the same can be said of England as well. The biggest issue is going to be maintaining the fitness and well being of the bowling unit. I'm going to say a drawn series in the UAE, Swann and Adjmal hold the key to success for both sides.

  • SirViv1973 on January 1, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    @Imran Aziz, Eng are clearly the best test team around at the moment, They have won 8 of their last 9 series, the only exception being a draw in South Africa, which any other team in the world would be delighted with. During these 9 series the record has been Pl31 W20 D7 L4. Your comments are laughable and perhaps you should the facts or the meaning of the word Fluke, before you post your comments on here!

  • dunger.bob on January 1, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    As an Aussie, this is none of my business, but that's never stopped me from voicing an opinion in the past.

    England: Looking good guys. Strong, strong batting. What's your average 1st innings score the last 2 years. Pretty high I'd imagine. Strong bowling as well. Jimmy the Jinker, Broad the Sword, Swann the Bomb, and that other guy who used to be lead singer for Crowded House. Fieldings good, captaincy as well. I think powerful is not too strong a word to describe the current England line-up.

    Pakistan: As I said somewhere else, I am full of admiration for these blokes. I can't imagine a more adverse environment to try and put together a competitive Test team. Yet, they keep putting together really solid performances. How they do it is beyond my ken.

    They will compete, and I'm also willing to bet they will put the wind up England more than people think. In the end though it will be too hard a task and they will loose by a moderate margin.

    Cheers and have a great 2012 everyone.

  • IMEthan on January 1, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    this is an indian,i think pak will win...really like their fighting spirit....crush england...coz they can win in their own backward

  • mykhan on January 1, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    salams, I think Pakistan is quiet capable to beat any team with out a doubt, but they have to show it on given day, as we have seen it in past that our team can falter any time. however, i have lots of hope this time around, they must play positive cricket and fight hard. good luck Pakistan.

  • on January 1, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Taufeeq and Misbah look like dopplegangers of each other~!

  • spellbinder76 on January 1, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    Danish Kaneria and Fawad Alam should have been selected. Kaneria is the best bowler and English batsmen are suspect against leg spin and googly. Fawad Alam is a batsman of great temperament and is a man of Crises, also a great fielder. Why is Imran Farhat selected, there are many who excelled in domestic cricket and should have been tried.

  • shamlaatu on January 1, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    These Hafeezes, Taufeeqs, Farhats, and Azhars, etc,,,,, Trust me no one in the world cricket fears them, not even Bangladesh and Namibia. Pak batting is bound to choke the minute some pressure is applied. With a very slow run rate and sluggish captaincy put up against the fact that England's fielding is light years ahead, we are in for a brutal thrashing in the tests. Comparing the English bowlers with our batting, I will be pleasantly surprised to see Pak reaching 300 in ANY test or ODI innings. England is already a well deserving T20 World Champions so they prolly beat Pak easily in the T20 series. ODI is perhaps the only format where we could possibly see some hard fought games.

  • wrenx on January 1, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    While Pakistani fielding has been so bad it's comical, forethought and planning are traditional weaknesses too. England bat deep, and the Pakistan team will need to come up with a plan to deal with each of them if they want to have any hope of bowling them out for a manageable total. It certainly won't be the Pakistani batsmen who will win them any games, their plan should just be to stick around as long as possible and hope they can get enough runs to defend. The bowling will need to do what they did in 2010 and shoot out England cheaply, though without Amir, it will be difficult. Junaid shows promise though, this could be his defining series.

  • subbass on January 1, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    Thank god Pakistans number 5 position is no fluke then.

  • birdz_eye on January 1, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    Well statically people proved here that England's # position is safe even if Pakistan wins the series. Thats OK for me because after having gone through miserable defeats by many sides at their home they deserve to have some faith & honer in a Game they invented. I still remember the Chris Read being bowled by Chris Cairns, ducking a waist high full toss in 99 tour of NZ to England worrying times were those for the Englishmen lol.

  • Saghyr on January 1, 2012, 2:54 GMT

    PCT - you guys win or lose , we know you will play your 100%- play good cricket and wish you guys a wonderful and great year ahead - better then 2011- stay winner stay blessed!

  • on January 1, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    well based on the recent interviews by many pak players it seems like they are already under pressure and putthing their guard down. All they are doing is easing the fans that hey England is a tough side and if we lose that will be the cause NOT because we palayed horibly. Come on get out of the shell and play like tigers not like cats accepting or preparing for the defeat.

  • on January 1, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    Pak can win this series IF there bowlers continue to bowl with discipline AND more importantly they hang on to there CATCHES ...

  • subbass on January 1, 2012, 2:08 GMT

    Oh and 5wombats. Well said mate. Thank god for some sensible comments. We(Eng supporters) all know that conditions in the sub con. are not Englands favourite but that as maybe, we still held our own to some extent last time we played here in Test cricket and now we are as you say much better. This supreme confidence by Pak fans does surprise me, I'd expect them to think they had a chance but talk of 3-0 is just silly and won't happen for sure. Look we all know Pak are a dangerous side, but I bet any money they(the Pak players not fans) are more worried about losing than the Eng players are. Our team go there quite rightly full of confidence and they also go there having won a load of games not by a small margin, but by a large margin. This simply can not be ignored and is the hallmark of a quality team.

    Much as Pak Test team has done well they have not been beating quality teams by such margins as England has, this is one thing no-one can argue with.

    plz publish !

  • subbass on January 1, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    @ Imran Aziz - So winning loads of games by an innings is just a 'fluke' hey ? Oh ok then. Must admit that does surprise me, last time I checked it was surprising to say the least for any team to consistently beat other sides by an innings, let alone going to OZ and doing it 3 times and also restricting the much respected Indian batting line up to scores under 300 in 4 tests and of course winning 4-0.

    I hope you don't risk too much money on your bet, as I reckon you could be in for a shock mate, this England TEST team is the real deal.

    I'd save your money for the ODI series. It's here where I see Pak winning.

    Any good gambler checks the stats before they bet. Looks like you do not do this. Fingers crossed you don't put too much money down. :)

  • cricket0007 on January 1, 2012, 1:02 GMT

    who cares about rankings anyway , i mean its just one guy who is sitting on his pc doin all this.. what matters more atleast to me if not to u all , is the team who plays better on that day wins the game... as simple as that. And those who r considering either of the teams as weak have not seen any cricket lately.. i consider both Pakistan and England much stronger than india or australia. Those who come up with silly statements that sri lanka is weak or a "minnow" test side and thats y Pakistan beat them should look at their massive win over proteas on a swinging track in south africa. It clearly shows that there is not much of a difference in both srilanka and south africa.. if proteas won the first test , lankans won the 2nd one.. and i can assure u the mighty india wud have lost badly in those conditions :)

  • on January 1, 2012, 0:29 GMT

    My money, def on Pakistan....England's N0 1 position is just a fluke...

  • CricketingStargazer on December 31, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    5wombats, England's position as #1 is fairly solid right now. South Africa could have gone top after their Autumn series and blew it. Right now, even if India come back and beat Australia 3-1 and South Africa win the 3rd Test against Sri Lanka, England will stay top even with a 2-1 defeat against Pakistan. If India only draw the series in Australia, England would stay clear top even with a 3-0 defeat to Pakistan! Even if the field is shockingly weak - mind you, the same was said when the West Indies were dominating in the '80s and early '90s, England have played some stunning cricket. You can only beat what is placed in front of you and England has won big in most series. Since May 2009 only Australia and Sri Lanka in England and South Africa in South Africa have avoided been defeated by at least a 2 Test series margin. Impressive numbers indeed.

  • jtggrehhtrhtrht on December 31, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    Pakistan should bring back mohammed yousaf and inzimum ul haq even if he i retired he still has the best average in the pakistani Squad

  • maddy20 on December 31, 2011, 23:38 GMT

    @5Wombats You seem to forget that back then Indian team was turmoil thanks to guru Greg. That is the kind of team you have lost to. As for Chennai pitch, it is always like that! You must remember that your last outing there was also a low scoring game(WC 2011). That being said England have much less of a chance beating an Asian side in Asia due to a variety of reasons. Different type of ball, Spin friendly wickets(with sub-continental sides usually comprising much better spinners) backed by spinners such as Ajmal, Hafeez and Rehman, scorching heat of Dubai(remember no runners allowed). I would put this series in favor of Pakistan or at most a draw 1-1, 1-0 or 2-0 depending on how well Pakistan play. One thing is for sure they are gonna give this supposedly no.1 team a run for their money!

  • on December 31, 2011, 22:55 GMT

    NOW IS REAL TEST WITH ENGLAND LET SEE WHAT OUR HERO DO OR SAME THING WICKET AFTER WICKET AND WICKET PLEASE STAY ON TRY TO STAY ON WICKET DONT TRY TO RUN OUT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

  • 5wombats on December 31, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    Where does this idea come from that this England Test side "can't play on slow pitches" Who says? The most recent comparison in Tests was 3 years ago in India where England did OK always scoring 300+ on the "slow pitches". About half of the current England Team were on that tour and England under Pietersen were nowhere near as good as the Test team is today. That was Swann's first tour. At that time India were much more powerful with the bat than they are now. England were not made to look silly and, like India, they were in fact were only bowled out twice in the 4 times they batted. England bowled India out for 240 at Chennai and but for some Umpiring oddities would have won that Test. Now - England are a significantly better batting side, so why have we got to accept this notion, put about by certain fans, that this England Test side "can't play spin" or "can't play on slow pitches". If England 3 years ago were hitting 300+ in India, why can't we hit 450+ in Dubai now? Please publish

  • wrenx on December 31, 2011, 21:50 GMT

    To everyone that thinks that England's current strength is merely an accident that arises from the weakness of their opponents - this isn't England's fault! It's down to the rest of the world to prove that they can topple them by playing good cricket. Until they do, England will remain number one, and even if that's due to weak opposition, they still deserve it. Pakistan have the first bite of the apple since England went number one - let's hope they hold their catches and bat sensibly to show the rest of the world how they can be beaten.

  • insightfulcricketer on December 31, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    This should be an exciting series of English batting versus Pakistani bowling but I think what will decide the series will be Pakistani batting versus English bowling. If only Umar Akmal get his mojo on test cricket and Shoaib is made to feel welcome in this side then this should see a huge upset. Counting on a great series.

  • GreenTeam-Elite on December 31, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    Very Good Taufeeq!!! It's a Good thinking not to take Easy your opponent!!! With this thinking I am Sure you Guys are Going to Rock this Series!!! Just have Confidence on you and always play fighting Cricket with your opponent!!! Only this much we want from Green Team!!!

  • Lord_Dravid on December 31, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    @Talha Shahzad..the BCCI has nothing to do with eng touring pak or any side touring pak for that matter..if any teams want to tour pak i am sure they will help themselves.

  • Ch_Mahmood on December 31, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    @Sinhaya....I know ur quick to fire on englnad batters in unfamiliar conditions, bt as a pakistani supporter we cannot underestimate the eng no.1 ranking, with batting averages in the fifties. Very good test right now. Pak has always enjoyed healthy contests with eng . Both teams players, coaches, management will take alot from this series and if pakistan could manage a win, from which i think will be a draw first 2 matches leaving the last one tightly fought contest, then i could see massive improvements in pakistan stability for the future ! Key players, Trott, strauss, swann, Bell, tall english bowler broad or finn...Pk.....Hafeez, Ajmal, Wahab, Junaid, Misbah, Taufeeq...Exciting times for cricket.........CANT WAIT FOR THIS ONE!

  • ExplicitPlatinum on December 31, 2011, 20:20 GMT

    Wahab Riaz needs to do the same thing he did to India. That is to plan against each and every batsmen in the England batting line up. If he does this, then Pakistan is sure to get important wickets. I believe that it will be Junaid Khan shining in this series along with Saeed Ajmal.

  • Valavan on December 31, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    @ALL ENGLAND HATERS, the problem is with Eingland in ODIs in slow pitches, anyway underestimate ENGLAND in your own peril. that suits them better to play attractive cricket. SL blamed IPL for their england losses, India blamed injuries, of course we have to wait and see. but my money for england, but good luck PAKISTAN. cricinfo please publish

  • Saqib_Sheraz on December 31, 2011, 19:58 GMT

    just keep focus on basic and we will win, simple is that.

  • on December 31, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    you have need to play big big slow..............................

  • iori- on December 31, 2011, 19:24 GMT

    Although Pakistan got a strong bowling line up, IMO they would struggle in the batting department. I am not sure if they would be able to play for a longer period of time. England on the other hand looks pretty balance side. It would be interesting to see how they play against Ajmal and Co.

  • CricketingStargazer on December 31, 2011, 18:57 GMT

    Mobsy, when was the last time that England *lost* a Test series? Hint: it was when the side was in upheaval with an emergency captain and no coach in early 2009. Since then England have lost just 4 Tests (in that time, for example, India and Australia have lost that many of more Tests just to England). Every series bar one has been won and that was a drawn series 1-1 (4 Tests) in South Africa. That includes series victories against every Test side apart from South Africa, New Zealand and Zimbabwe. No other side can get close to that record!

  • hhillbumper on December 31, 2011, 18:47 GMT

    I do agree with some people on here saying one of these teams has beaten only weak teams this year.But you can't blame England that they had to play india and Australia!

  • aak17 on December 31, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    Pk is still one of the weakest test sides in respect of fielding (catches win matches). This could make a BIG BIG difference against England. It appears that fielding is still not taken seriously. As for Tafeeq he has the potential to be a very good opening batsman, but he still has a lot to learn to improve his tecniques in different conditions. As for Misbah's captaincy he is spot on in his approach, positive results will flow from his approach- that's what counts at the end of the day. He should simply ignore his critics!

  • on December 31, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    I like this Safety First approach, Go Pakistan

  • Cut-Shot on December 31, 2011, 17:34 GMT

    we just need good cricket 4m pakistan.no matter what the result is but definately we want pakistan to win.GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN

  • subbass on December 31, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    I think if everyone is honest the reality is that if England plays to there maximum and Pakistan does then England will still not lose based on their recent form. How many teams would win so many games by an innings ? You see England are not only winning games they are winning them very comfortably. Even with the home advantage Pak has it will be one hell of a challenge to win the Test series. I f they do then hats off to them, still with the flat pitches the drawn series is a strong contender, who knows it could even end up 0-0 !

  • JG2704 on December 31, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    With the obvious exception of the 1st comment ,pretty much all these comms are decent and constructive. Good to see. This is a real tough series between the 2 form sides from the past year and is probably as stiff a test as England could ask for right now. England journey into the unknown as they play test cricket in the SC for the 1st time with the current crop of players. They've also not played test cricket for several months and I wonder whether the rest will have them refreshed/recharged or whether they will be rusty from not playing tests for a while.

  • JG2704 on December 31, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    @WeeBee on (December 31 2011, 10:54 AM GMT) - If we're talking tests only ten both teams won every series in the last 12 months.

  • chishtyirfan on December 31, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    Though task for both teams. England is current no.1 and I hope they will remain for long time because they have better players then other teams. For Pak team always a concern about their lack of unity which is so far good. no doubt about their talent. Pak has exiting player to watch. So it gonna be exciting series. no matter who is gonna win. I am hoping a wonderful series.

  • landl47 on December 31, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    I think Taufeeq's assessment is very realistic. I don't think, given the level of ability in each team, that Pakistan will beat England in the test series. My fear is that it will turn into a succession of high-scoring draws, as was the case when Pak played SA in 2010. That might be good for Pakistan, but it won't be good cricket to watch. Hopefully there will be a result in one of the first two tests and that will lead to more adventurous play. Pakistan are a very good ODI side and England has still to work out how to use its talents to best advantage in the one-day game. Hopefully the Indian series will have shown them what NOT to do. I believe England is best served by attacking in the field in ODIs. I wish Swann had been appointed ODI/T20 captain; that would have given Cook and Broad a chance to learn. At the moment neither of them has the street smarts of Swann. A couple of years watching Swanny would do them both a world of good.

  • S.Kamran.Ali on December 31, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    best of luck team Pakistan.

  • drnaveed on December 31, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    what Pak should do ............ hold on to all the catches, be vigillant in the field,while batting look for singles and doubles,play with a straight bat as much as possible,keep umar akmal wk at number 7 , so it will strengthened the batting further, mind you Eng is not going to drop the catches your batsmen had offered to the other teams. best of luck to Pak

  • on December 31, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    Taufeeq is very right. But the result of this series will totally depend on the pitches of UAE. I hope the pitches would help spinners a great deal and result oriented wickets. Dont want to see 1-0 on either sides or 0-0. Want to see the result of all three matches. But i tell you one thing,this time swann will not trouble Pak batsmen except Tafeeq(as he is lefty).

  • on December 31, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    @ siltbreeze. so nyc to listen this that "I look forward to the day when England can actually tour Pakistan again"........ my friend that day is not too far away. the only obstacle is BCCI......

  • on December 31, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    THERE IS NO HOT WEATHER .......ITS NORMAL SEASON.....ABU DABHI IT IS THE BEST TIME TO PLAY TEST...SOMETIME IS IS OVER CAST WEATHER IN THESE DAYS...AND THEN JANUARY.SO BEST LUCK FOR PAKISTAN.......

  • on December 31, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    Both teams are in form both teams have bowlers to take 20 wickets .If pakistan can make spinning wickets like india they have real chance to win otherwise it will be very difficult for them .

  • mobsy on December 31, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    I dont understand why are people making a big deal out of this England side. Fair enough they beat India at home, and have won there last few series at home and won in Australia, but bare in mind, neither India or Australia have the same players or the form that they did a decade ago. When England beat Australia at home in 2005 Ashes, that was a big achievement, and soon after they travelled to Pakistan and lost 2-0. Pakitan at the time had only 2 good bats in Yousuf and Inzi and 2 good bowlers in Shoaib and Kenaria. This time around, Pakistani bowling is far better with Gul, Wahab, Junaid, Saeed and Hafeez, all match winners and batting is also decent with Asad, Azhar, Yunis, Misbah.. I guess once the series is over, only then the current Pakistan side will be recognised as one of the best. Pakistan has all to win and England on the other hand all to lose. Lets hope its an interesting series and we get entertainment.

  • on December 31, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    Ideal team for this series should have been 1.tafueeq, 2.hafeez, 3. azhar ali 4. younis. 5. yousaf 6. misbah 7. kamran(wk) 8. gul 9. junaid 10. kaneria 11. ajmal

    For ODI's

    1. hafeez. 2. asad/kamran 3.younis 4.misbah. 5.umer(wk) 6. malik. 7.razzak. 8.afridi 9.gul 10.ajmal 11. cheema

    For t20's

    just drop younis and bring in imran nazir from the odi side

  • on December 31, 2011, 15:09 GMT

    Swanny, broad, anderson, bresnan r capable to destroy any batting line up in the world. Bt they have to prove a lots out side english codition

  • Syed_imran_abbas on December 31, 2011, 15:08 GMT

    Lets see.. i am hoping a very good contest.. no doubt england is very good test side.. so pakistan will have to play very well in especially test matches.. but in odi and t20s pakistan shouldnt have that problem.. pakistan desperattly need a fast bowling allrounder for test matches... and yeah sarfraz's techniques seems better then adnan akmal...as an oprion they should have selected sarfraz for farhat and kaneria for talha...

  • on December 31, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    lol @ Taufeeq. He (and Professor Hafeez) must get ready to have their poor batting technique brutally exposed against the English pacers. I will be pleasantly surprised to see Pak reaching 300 in ANY test or ODI innings.

  • ABRAR-JANJUA on December 31, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    Though time is waiting for England in UAE as there will have to face hot weather which they are not used to and then the conditions are totally different from England where they enjoy plenty of Moment and swing with the ball. on the other hand Pakistan will have to work very hard specially their fast bowlers to give England though time.

  • on December 31, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    It is a series that I look forward. Pakistan have come a lot since that dreadful 2010 tour in England. Let's hope we will watch some briliiant cricket and our ties with Pakistan will improve on good terms. Pleased to see Pakistan playing good cricket but my heart is with England. Come on England!!

  • Pak121 on December 31, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    i dont understand why people think younis khan bats slow- he has a strike rate 51 for the year- thats better than most of the england team and has a strike rate of 53 overall which is among the best in the world- better than dravid, laxman, hussey, kallis, chanderpaul, Jayawardene and its just bellow tendulkar so sayin younis can is slow and not a free flowing batsmen in test is wrong!

  • siltbreeze on December 31, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    As an Englishman, I think this series will be more of a challenge for us than India at home or even Australia away last winter. Pakistan look a really good unit at the moment, a cohesive team with no disruptive influences. Both teams are capable of taking 20 wickets on flat pitches; I'm really impressed with Junaid and love watching Ajmal's variations. A lot will depend on how well the English batsman play the spinners. England have had no cricket for a while, but they are a very professional side and will be fully prepared. Should be a great contest! PS I look forward to the day when England can actually tour Pakistan again.

  • on December 31, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    Assalam O Alaikum HellowEveryBoDY. Taufeet is correct.But here is different situation English team is tuff opponet eng team has plenty of good fast bowling attack i think the best fast bowling department in the world from my prospective, Jimmy anderson/ stuart broad/ steven finn 3 or genuin fast bowlers and 3 of those he can move the bowl both ways.in the end i cant forget english batting line eng has plenty of match winning batsmans like. KP,COOK,STRAUSSY,MORGAN, AND TROTT so very hard team i say.But i think pakistani team is better than eng in these condition.

  • on December 31, 2011, 14:23 GMT

    i dont think so i think if pakistan play to their abilities in UAE they will win if the series was in eng i will pak no chance but pak threat will come from bresnam and with red new ball first 10 overs

  • Shah-Ji on December 31, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    Asad Shafiq,Azhar Ali, Umar Akmal, One will have to out.Do not forget Yousuf is not retired yet. and there are at least 4 other young batsmen like Shahzaib Hassan are ready for international cricket. Kamran Akmal(as Batsman only) , Shaib Malik ,Ahmed Shahzad ,Umar Amin and do not forget Asim Kamal are working hard for comeback .

    There are 7 bowlers in squad ,still likes of Sami, Tanvir ,Khalil and Kaneria are missing. one of Whab ,Junaid, Talha,Cheema will get chance to join Gul.

    Adnan Akmal and Sarfraz are competing really hard just like Moin Khan and Rashid Latif.

    What else PAK fans want ? Good Fielding. .Last test match with BD ,PAK manage to win due BD bad fielding.

    Last time in Sydney ,Aussies win due bad PAK fielding. Now We should start dropping players on the basis of fielding and fielding only.

    and one World class all rounder with pace bowling. like Kalls ,Watson

  • on December 31, 2011, 13:32 GMT

    @herath, "disjointed srilankan Team" is an excuse??? I mean it was 4-1 in odi and 1-0 in test. Pakistan has gone through more tough phases since 2007. It means all the pakistan losses during this period is meaningless :). I dont think so

  • on December 31, 2011, 13:32 GMT

    im a srilankan fan.now no doubt england is the best test tem in world.thats no doubt. they have so many options in bolwing depatment.specially fast bowling.but when their pace dnt work properly swanny do the job. in pataudi seris 2011 swanny show what he can do. but pak is the best team who can challenge england now.their morale is very high.main reson was their win against sl. my 2nd favo is pak.many of sl fans 2nd favo is pakistan team.main reason is india dnt play the real brand of cricket and they always insult pak and srilanka. come on pak do something special.but dnt forget englang is not srilanka.they ae so strong side.probably so difficult to bolw them out in both innings.thats very difficult.but all the best for both teams for very interting test seris.

  • crickprof on December 31, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    best form of the defense is to "Attack"

  • SDHM on December 31, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    The conditions bring the sides closer together, to the extent where I think a 1-1 draw or a 1-0 win for either side are probably the most likely outcomes. I think the problem lies in what pitches Pakistan can prepare - they have a strong bowling attack no doubt, but England have the better batting line-up and are better placed to counter Pakistan than the other way round. If they ask to prepare dustbowls for Ajmal and Rehmann for example, they risk playing into Swann's hands and they played him abysmally in England. Prepare hard, abrasive surfaces so the bowlers can get reverse swing and then you're also giving a leg up to England's seamers. It makes for what should be an intriguing and closely fought series!

  • on December 31, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    england can adjust in uae and i think its gonna very tough series both team are the best let,s see which team play better cricket,,,,,,,,,, best of luck pakistan team LONG LIVE PAKISTAN

  • h.m.u.f.c on December 31, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    I must say Pakistani team,coach & captian all are having a defensive approach against ENG series.

  • on December 31, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    I must say that, to play and win against england, pakistan had to call Mohammad YOUSUF because his test batting average is almost 63 against england. So he should be called because he is a senior batsman and only 1, 2 years r remaing in his career so pakistan should get benefit from a living legend......They should not waste him.....I think he should be re-called soon...

  • keptalittlelow on December 31, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    Beating Sri Lanka does not mean Pakistan are strong enough to beat England, Sri Lanka are a very weak side, they just managed to beat the chokers for the first time in their history. So I dont think its going to be easy for Pakistan to beat a team as strong as England, if they did or even drew the series it would be really great for Pakistan.

  • CricketingStargazer on December 31, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    It's a pity that Pakistan can't play India and Australia right now. I suspect that both would come in for a fairly nasty shock. Pakistan's lowly ICC rating, which some fans have harped on to devalue this series, is down to past failures, not the current team. Right now England and Pakistan have to be the two form sides in the world and probably have the two best attacks too. It will be a tough series, probably England's biggest challenge over the last 4 years and, possibly, their biggest series since the 2005 Ashes. If England win, it will put to rest some demons, although it won't stop the usual sceptics moaning that England are not the real #1 side (although thye field is admittedly depressingly weak at the moment, with the nearest challngers all with severe limitations). If Pakistan win, they will have a real chance to challenge for the #1 spot in the next couple of years given the falibility of the sides above them.

  • Zahidsaltin on December 31, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    Pakistan selectors have made two mistakes; they should have selected Sarfraz as wicketkeeper batsman and they should have taken Kaneria with them too. Adnan Akmals batting is the weakest link in the team. Sarfraz is a very good batsman if given the possibility to build his innings. I also believe that PCB XI match will give a first hand test of England team as I see the XI to be as much talented as the national team is.

  • Herath-UK on December 31, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    England's problem is slow pitches though Pakistan did win over a disjointed Sri Lanka recently Taufeeq or other batsmen did not show any evidence to say above run of the mill type.They heavily depend on Younis and Misbah.ODI games and Test are two different kettle of fish and I would say there are no clear favourites here. Ranil Herath -Kent

  • on December 31, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    England series will no doubt be the supreme test of Pakistan team character. We have a dream unit of bowlers. What we lack is the command in batsmen to ATTACK or DEFEND equally. Not every game can be won, but merely Pakistan should aim to NOT play on the back-foot right from the start. We should rather aim to win sessions than a match on the whole. Makes things more simpler

  • kevinpp24 on December 31, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    All England can do is win the series and shut everyone up. But still they will say "They must win in India to prove themselves". I have a feeling they may do well against India, simple reason is before touring India they will come across Pak in UAE, SL in SL and then to India, so the play lot of game in SC to get themselves adapted. Everybody is after England team lookslike no on Eng being No.1

  • JavedKhanAfridi on December 31, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    England have always been a tough side to beat for Pakistan. Misbah and his comrades will have to work hard to achieve results. No doubt Pakistan's seamers and slow bowlers are in good form, fielding and batting are vulnerable.. If they can improve that, Pakistan may win the series.

  • WeeBee on December 31, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    I think if we compare two teams, One had a fantastic year winning all the series and other one is top ranked test team. Well, It would be contest worth watching. I think English Batting and Pakistani Bowling will be interesting to watch. Pakistani team have got to show their batting talent , cause we have seen pakistani batting collapses so many times. It was never easy for English players to play on slow pitches , for example INDIA tour was a flop for them.

  • rzi-BDML on December 31, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    no doubt that it will be a very tough series for both the teams. no one can claim that which team is superior, given the conditions in UAE. much awaited contest between the two nations, hopefully without any controversy

  • on December 31, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    @Sinhaya dont come to conclusions very soon. Just like Taufeeq umar said they are No1 team and Pakistan will have to play above their abilities. England is for sure weak ODI side which i don't understand why but they are toughest side when it comes to test matches. For me England is favourite in the series, even though i want Pakistan to win but England have more chances to win this match. I do not expect Pakistan to win but I do expect them to atleast draw the series and put up a good fight. Good luck to both teams.

  • SirViv1973 on December 31, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    Far too much has been made on here by people saying Eng can't play in Asian conditions. Eng shortcomings in Asia have been in 50 over cricket. The simple fact of the matter is Eng Have played very little test cricket in Asia in the last 5 years and what has happened in ODI's will have no bearing on this series and they will be ready for the challenge of an improving Pakistani team.

  • sirvivfan on December 31, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    Taufeek, is correct with his assessment. He will be challenged personally....he is bit loose outside the off stump and will need to tighten up considerably. However he had a good rain and should be high on confidence. Both Taufeeq and Hafeez have key role to play....good luck.

  • Sinhaya on December 31, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    Pakistan are guaranteed to win the tests 3-0! England batters wont stand any chance against Ajmal, Hafeez and Rehman! Pakistan bowling is simply the best in the world.

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  • Sinhaya on December 31, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    Pakistan are guaranteed to win the tests 3-0! England batters wont stand any chance against Ajmal, Hafeez and Rehman! Pakistan bowling is simply the best in the world.

  • sirvivfan on December 31, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    Taufeek, is correct with his assessment. He will be challenged personally....he is bit loose outside the off stump and will need to tighten up considerably. However he had a good rain and should be high on confidence. Both Taufeeq and Hafeez have key role to play....good luck.

  • SirViv1973 on December 31, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    Far too much has been made on here by people saying Eng can't play in Asian conditions. Eng shortcomings in Asia have been in 50 over cricket. The simple fact of the matter is Eng Have played very little test cricket in Asia in the last 5 years and what has happened in ODI's will have no bearing on this series and they will be ready for the challenge of an improving Pakistani team.

  • on December 31, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    @Sinhaya dont come to conclusions very soon. Just like Taufeeq umar said they are No1 team and Pakistan will have to play above their abilities. England is for sure weak ODI side which i don't understand why but they are toughest side when it comes to test matches. For me England is favourite in the series, even though i want Pakistan to win but England have more chances to win this match. I do not expect Pakistan to win but I do expect them to atleast draw the series and put up a good fight. Good luck to both teams.

  • rzi-BDML on December 31, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    no doubt that it will be a very tough series for both the teams. no one can claim that which team is superior, given the conditions in UAE. much awaited contest between the two nations, hopefully without any controversy

  • WeeBee on December 31, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    I think if we compare two teams, One had a fantastic year winning all the series and other one is top ranked test team. Well, It would be contest worth watching. I think English Batting and Pakistani Bowling will be interesting to watch. Pakistani team have got to show their batting talent , cause we have seen pakistani batting collapses so many times. It was never easy for English players to play on slow pitches , for example INDIA tour was a flop for them.

  • JavedKhanAfridi on December 31, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    England have always been a tough side to beat for Pakistan. Misbah and his comrades will have to work hard to achieve results. No doubt Pakistan's seamers and slow bowlers are in good form, fielding and batting are vulnerable.. If they can improve that, Pakistan may win the series.

  • kevinpp24 on December 31, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    All England can do is win the series and shut everyone up. But still they will say "They must win in India to prove themselves". I have a feeling they may do well against India, simple reason is before touring India they will come across Pak in UAE, SL in SL and then to India, so the play lot of game in SC to get themselves adapted. Everybody is after England team lookslike no on Eng being No.1

  • on December 31, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    England series will no doubt be the supreme test of Pakistan team character. We have a dream unit of bowlers. What we lack is the command in batsmen to ATTACK or DEFEND equally. Not every game can be won, but merely Pakistan should aim to NOT play on the back-foot right from the start. We should rather aim to win sessions than a match on the whole. Makes things more simpler

  • Herath-UK on December 31, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    England's problem is slow pitches though Pakistan did win over a disjointed Sri Lanka recently Taufeeq or other batsmen did not show any evidence to say above run of the mill type.They heavily depend on Younis and Misbah.ODI games and Test are two different kettle of fish and I would say there are no clear favourites here. Ranil Herath -Kent