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November 17, 2008
Pakistan's 3-0 whitewash of West Indies in Abu Dhabi has primed them for the upcoming series against India, their captain Shoaib Malik has said. Younis Khan hit 101 and Rao Ifthikar Anjum took 4-59 in Pakistan's 31-run win in the last game, a win which Malik praised as a solid team effort.
"Before the start of this series, I had asked the players to play to potential and show commitment," Malik said. "They have done that quite well and I am pleased they have given their best here.
"In the second match, our total was small but we knew that they heavily depend on Chris Gayle. We planned to get Gayle out early and did it. We also did well in saving boundaries as planned. We have not played international cricket in a long time, but that hasn't deterred us. This win is a big boost to our confidence ahead of the series against India."
Pakistan have been starved of international cricket this year with several teams refusing to tour the country due to security reasons. India are scheduled to play three Tests and five ODIs in Pakistan in January and February next year. There are doubts over the tour due to security worries, but Malik was hopeful of a tough series.
"The way India are playing we would need to be at our best and do extra work to beat them," Malik said.
Younis, Man of the Match after his hundred, said India could be beaten. "This is pretty much the same team we played and beat last year. The only difference is they have an aggressive captain in [Mahendra Singh] Dhoni. But Dhoni has been very lucky as his changes and decisions have all paid off. His real test will come when luck deserts him."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.