Gearing up with Leicester April 26, 2006

Asif prepares for English challenge

Cricinfo staff

Mohammad Asif: All set for a swinging summer? © Getty Images

Mohammad Asif, the Pakistan fast bowler, has said that his stint with Leicestershire will be ideal preparation for the side's tour to England this July.

Asif is expected to be a serious threat to England during in the four Test series, coming off a successful tour against Sri Lanka in which he took 17 wickets, with a career best of 6 for 44 at Kandy.

Asif, 23, came to prominence after taking 10 wickets for Pakistan A against England last winter. "It was almost the same England team that had won the Ashes and when I started I was under pressure bowling to some big names," Asif told BBC Radio. "But the ball started swinging both ways and after that I was OK."

Though he didn't play in the Tests against England, he came for the last one-day match of the tournament and picked up two wickets for 14. He was then picked for the second and third Tests against India at home, and had a memorable game at Karachi, taking seven wickets in Pakistan's 341-run victory.

Asif insisted that England will prove to be difficult to beat this summer, despite the fact that Pakistan have not lost a series in England since 1982. "You only have to look at the last Ashes, and they were playing well even before that in England."