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India series a 'tough one' - Whatmore

Umar Farooq

December 14, 2012

Comments: 32 | Text size: A | A

Saeed Ajmal goes on a celebratory run, Pakistan v Australia, 1st T20I, Dubai, September 5, 2012
Dav Whatmore: "Saeed Ajmal will always remain a trump card for us, he will always remain a threat [for the opposition]" © Associated Press
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With India and Pakistan set to face-off in a bilateral series for the first time in five years, Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore is excited. On the opening day of Pakistan's preparatory camp in Lahore, he said he is 'very keen to play the series' and take on the challenge of playing India in India.

"India v Pakistan in India is not going to be an easy one, particularly with the added interest of the neighbours playing each other [for the first time in a while]," Whatmore said at the Gaddafi Stadium. "But it's fantastic. I can tell you players from both sides respect each other, we are fellow professionals. We understand the pressures that exist but sadly there are a number other people who build it up as something different … But that's the way it is. We are very keen to play our neighbours and we are looking forward to it very much."

The series, which begins with a Twenty20 in Bangalore on December 25, will be the first bilateral series between the two sides since Pakistan toured India in late 2007. They have since met in multinational tournaments, but bilateral ties between the two were put on hold following the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. India had withdrawn from their planned tour of Pakistan in 2009 and, after the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore that stalled international cricket in Pakistan, have not agreed to play a series at a neutral venue as has been the case with all Pakistan's 'home' series.

"It's a privilege to be involved in series like this," Whatmore said. "I've been involved in the odd match at ICC events and Asian Cricket Council events, but this will be first time we'll play more that two or three times in a small series.

"It will be an experience, particularly playing in India, where the fans are also very keen to come out and have a look and support their team."

Saeed Ajmal will be Pakistan's trump card, Whatmore said. "We will pick our group of bowlers depending on the conditions. You can't do that until you've had a look [at the conditions]. We feel we've enough boys in the group to satisfy the requirements of any conditions. But Saeed Ajmal will always remain a trump card for us, he will always remain a threat [for the opposition]."

Despite India's struggles during the ongoing England Test series, Whatmore refused to be complacent. "England are playing very well at the moment and India have a big job to square the series. But one Test series [results] doesn't necessarily mean that they are weak, we all know how good they have been over many years. I wouldn't read much into that."

Fifteen players of the 22 who will travel to India for the two* Twenty20s and three ODIs attended the inaugural day of the camp; Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq were absent due to various reasons.

*02.13GMT, December 15: The article had said 'three Twenty20s'. This has been corrected.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Jimk007 on (December 17, 2012, 18:48 GMT)

India in India are formidable. Pakistan has a poorer batting line-up than even Bangladesh, absolutely gut-less. Selection is even more astonishing. You now have Misbah, Younis Khan and Asad ali for your middle order! So fans carry your sleeping bags for overs 20-40 of the pak innings. Good to have Inzi involved in some way but he won't be out in the middle, words can only do so much.

Posted by piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda on (December 17, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

Ind will eat up Pakistan. come on dudes, the Indian lie in waiting.

Posted by nlambda on (December 16, 2012, 22:42 GMT)

Either Whatmore is trying too hard to pump up his players, or he has not been following our team's performance over the past year :-). At this point, it is hard to see how India can compete. Maybe Pakistanis will let us win out of sympathy before the upcoming Australian thrashing :-)

Posted by teammate on (December 16, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

No need to worry Pakistani bothers.. This is the worst team of recent times from India. If all the oldies continue to play for India, it will be cake walk for you. I am only afraid that your guys should not get carried away by their performance against this Indian team. All the best.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2012, 4:09 GMT)

Good one Pak must play aggressive and bowl good to challenge indian batting line up

Posted by roversgate on (December 16, 2012, 1:54 GMT)

Whatmore is right in the sense that India will be tough to beat in India when it comes to ODIs and T20s (especially ODIs) but considering the present form, they will probably roll over to Ajmal in tests. I do expect Kohli and Pujara to shine at some point during the series though because they havent got a chance to relish a Pak-India series before.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 16, 2012, 1:10 GMT)

Any Pakistani who thinks he can come to India and run down the home team is dreaming. It's a BRAND NEW series and that too ODI cricket where India are traditionally stronger than Pakistan. Still, that doesn't tell much until the series is over. As an Indian fan, I expect a good, tough series and a friendly one at that. India are a different cup of tea in coloured clothing. To underestimate them is like signing a suicide note.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2012, 22:31 GMT)

Perhaps it is "tough" series for the coach, to survive beyond his tenure if Pakistan losses, given his poor track record in all bilateral series Pakistan has played under him. Poor, over-rated coach, no-where near great Bob Woolmer

Posted by romirom on (December 15, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

plenty of new faces in pak team. hop they get fair chance. some budy like haris sohail should have to get fair chance in int'l cricket. not just few games where he dosen't perform and get out of the team. i saw him bating in champion league. he is the special talent. wel its a tough tour for pak.. umar akmal needs to perform consistently. even though he is the best batsman in current squad from pak according to odi ranking, he lacks consistency. and also loking forward to see nasir jamshed. he bats so beautifully agnst ausis in uae. hop he comes with the same form and play innings of his life in india. he is the batsman having sound technique and temperament in pak squad who has a bright future. the way he bats remind me inzi. a pure class. Ahmed shadjad is another young batsman i m loking forward. he is just 21 with lot of talent. he just needs to hold his nerves and choose his short selection. pak well best of luck from nepali cricket lover..

Posted by Bruisers on (December 15, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

Should be a really good series. Pakistani fans should stop equating India's poor Test form to ODIs, for their own good :)

Posted by Narbavi on (December 15, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

@Asadullah Qureshi: I will see you around once the series gets over, guess u forgot the fact that we are still good in limited overs cricket!!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2012, 13:22 GMT)

Lolx, a tough series?? It speaks a lot about the coach's confidence on his men, when he rates the currently wobbling opposition so high and does not speak about his players, except one, or about anything good about the homw team

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (December 15, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

I hope haris sohail and anwar ali gets fair chance to play. I wish they had selected ehsan adil as well, who is a promsing talent. And i hope this is shoaib maliks last series. Overhaul not a bad selection. apart from guys like Umer amin and remember my words that he is not an internatonl talent, no matter how many chances you give to him.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2012, 7:35 GMT)

Ya! India is struggling noe.in.tests but the shorter formats is different ball game and you have different team. I will.remind you one thing that if India will win the first ODI and it will go to the number one ranking.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2012, 5:19 GMT)

tough tour india r at their worst position it can as easy they can get

Posted by   on (December 15, 2012, 4:19 GMT)

can't wait for this series. gonna be very intersting :)

Posted by crzcric on (December 15, 2012, 3:48 GMT)

pakistan will sureley win this.there will be flat tracks for all the matches. unless the overrated team batsman can't face AJMAL,GUL and co.If pak batsmans can do well they can go for 3-0 win. pakistan zindabadh

Posted by mshyder on (December 15, 2012, 2:16 GMT)

I donot think whatmore can do much with the team given by the unimaginative selection committee. What can he do with Kamran Akmal, arguably the worst wicket keeper at present international circuit or what good is Shoaib Malik for, who on present form hardly deserves selection for a club side. Similarly Imran Farhat who with his non enviable record only gets selected because of his father in law. What can one expect from Umar Amin at 20/20, who as per Osman Samiuddin is more suitable for Tests. Or Wahab Riaz who has an economy rate of 5.44 in ODIs and has leaked runs like anything. Top it up with inexperience/ debutant Anwar Ali, Haris Sohail, Zulfiqar Babar, Asad Ali and Mohammad Irfan for such an important & tense tour and one can only feel sympathy for the poor coach.

Posted by kadema100 on (December 15, 2012, 1:35 GMT)

Bring it on india i hope cricket will win good luck to both teams may the best team wins

Posted by Stark62 on (December 14, 2012, 22:59 GMT)

The T20's will be a very good contest but I can't see Pak winning an ODI game!!

Posted by Batmanindallas on (December 14, 2012, 22:43 GMT)

I dont think it is tough...Indians should be easy this time

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 14, 2012, 19:45 GMT)

It will be a close series. India are traditionally strong in limited overs cricket but Pakistan have the element of uncertainty. Both teams are relatively young so it should be a fascinating series. I think India will be under pressure after their poor showing against England. A few wins are needed to get them back on track. Pakistan haven't played much cricket lately so they are bound to be rusty. Anyway, I expect a good contest and may the best team win. I hope fans on both sides and can keep hatred away and embrace love, unity and passion. Sports should be free of politics.

Posted by saeed101 on (December 14, 2012, 19:31 GMT)

Inshallah we will win and good luck team pak + Pcb is finally starting to do good and hope inzi bahi gets best out of umar akmal and other young batsmen my starting eleven would be: N Jamshed, Sami Aslam, Azhar Ali, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Harris Sohail, Mohhamed Rizwan, Hammad azam, Ashan adil, Junaid Khan, Raza Hasan Depending on who and the conditions we are playing in we can add another bowler in place of hammad azam or we can drop 1 batsmen. This would be my bench: Sharjeel Khan,Imam ul haq,Azim Ghumman, Usman Salladuhin, Jamal Anwar, Sadaf Hussain, Zia ul haq, Muhammed Rammez, Usman Qadir and would have Amir back when his ban is over as i belive eveybody deserves a 2nd chance+one of the 2 Ws would be my bowling coach either Wasim or Waqar. what do you think of this team guys?

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 19:24 GMT)

i don't want to see tendulkar play against pakistan.....as much as i would have loved this in the 1990's and early to mid 2000's....he's become a pain now...........i really hope he steps down....enough is enough.............I won't watch the match if he plays...This is unbelievable.....the most loved poster boy of Indian cricket is slowly becomming the most hated one.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (December 14, 2012, 19:22 GMT)

PCB should include Razzak and Afiridi pairs for India tour. PCB should say bye to Sohail Tanvir, Imran Farhat, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Umar Gul, Younis Khan, Misbah Haq etc. They not deserve to play ODI.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 14, 2012, 18:52 GMT)

Such a shame that most people don't recognize Ajmal because of his action....

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

india looks vulnerable against spin now

Posted by Umar_3214135 on (December 14, 2012, 17:57 GMT)

lol India is a Great team against Spinners specially they always played ajmal like a normal spinner specially Virat kohli am a bigfan of him as a pakistani , i think if they let mohammed irfan play he will be a bigthreat as he is tall and he can swing the ball either way with pace so that depends on misbah ,they have to leave gul intead of M irfan Sooooo good luck pakistan Good luck India ,

Aman Ka chaka laga laga re Aman ka chaka laga !!!!!

Posted by crzcric on (December 14, 2012, 17:45 GMT)

Itz gonna be a piece of cake for pakistan.hope india will prepare flat track to all matches. Otherwise they can't survive from AJMAL,GUL and co .If pak batsman can do well they will thrash india. Its time to shut the mouths of the overrated team. Pakistan sindabadh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Gloryof96 on (December 14, 2012, 17:33 GMT)

Me thinks Whatmore is being nice ....... OR being very sarcastic ....... lol ......

Posted by NairUSA on (December 14, 2012, 17:29 GMT)

I would not call it a tough one for Pakistan considering the way in which India is playing now. Indian cricket team can improve only if they can field a team that has no players affiliated to IPL. Good luck with that!

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

Pakistan is a lot more better team than india.very good bowlers and batsmen.when it comes Pak vs india.it is always a pressure game.Pak will beat india if they can control a little bit of their nerves.INSHALLAH

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