India in Pakistan, 2005-06 January 1, 2006

'India are favourites' - Inzamam

Cricinfo staff

Inzamam-ul-Haq disagreed that his side rely on him for consistent runs: 'Salman Butt, Mohammad Yousuf and Kamran Akmal have batted well in recent matches' © AFP
Pakistan's captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has tipped India as favourites in the forthcoming Test series, claiming home advantage and Pakistan's recent series win over England would count for little. India arrive on January 5 and start the tour with a three-day match against Pakistan A on January 7.

"We will need to work extra hard. For me, India will be favourites in the series," Inzamam said. "The win against England is a thing of the past now, and since there is not much difference in pitches and other things in India and Pakistan, there will be no home advantage. India has a strong batting line up and with Sourav Ganguly's return it has further strengthened. Although Rahul Dravid does not have experience as a captain he is a wise batsman and will mature as captain," he said.

"We are not weak in the spin department because we have Danish Kaneria, Arshad Khan, Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi so we can match India who have Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.

"I am thankful to Wasim Akram for advising us to prepare hard pitches keeping in view the good form of our bowlers in the series against England," said Inzamam, who will meet groundsmen on Monday to devise a strategy.

He disagreed that Pakistan rely heavily on him in batting - he scored 431 runs against England in three Tests this winter - and Shoaib Akhtar in bowling. "Salman Butt, Mohammad Yousuf and Kamran Akmal have batted well in recent matches, so has Afridi and in bowling we also have Naved, Kaneria and others who have done well."