IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

World Twenty20 win is beginning of new era: Inti


intikhabPakistan can translate their title-winning triumph in the World Twenty20 into a forceful showing during the tough tour of Sri Lanka later this summer, their coach Intikhab Alam said on Wednesday.

Intikhab told ‘The News’ in an interview that the morale is high in Pakistan camp following a memorable victory in the World Twenty20 final against Sri Lanka at Lord’s on Sunday and his boys are now ready to give a similar performance in the up coming Test series.

Our morale and confidence has received a great boost, said Intikhab, a former Pakistan captain. And it is certainly going to help the boys in Sri Lanka, he added.

Pakistan are scheduled to leave for Colombo on June 27 to play three Tests, five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 game against Sri Lanka during a six-wee-long tour that will end on August 12.

It is Pakistan’s first full tour since the away assignment in India in 2007 and will be a litmus test for them as Sri Lanka are regarded as a very dangerous side especially in their own backyard.

But Intikhab is confident that his charges will do well in Sri lanka.

‘It’s very important that we carry on winning,’ he said. ‘The World Cup should be a beginning of a bright era in our cricket and we should translate that success into more such results in the future.’

However, Intikhab made it clear that things will not be easy for Pakistan in Sri Lanka.

‘Sri Lanka is always a tough assignment,’ he said. ‘The playing conditions and the weather with all the heat and humidity can make things really difficult.’

When Pakistan toured Sri Lanka the last time in 2006, they won the Test series.

This time, however, Pakistan will have to really give their best to repeat that performance against Sri Lanka that will be looking to avenge their World Twenty20 final defeat on home soil.

Sri Lanka have been extremely successful in their own backyard in recent seasons with a potent bowling attack bolstered by their spin twins Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis.

And with skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene who are counted among the world’s most prolific batters, their batting line-up looks very dependable.

Intikhab, however, said that his team will be in with a good chance in the series.

He termed the return of premier batsman Mohammad Yousuf as a huge boost and said that his ‘balanced’ team is capable of delivering the goods in Sri Lanka.

‘Yousuf’s return is certainly good news for us,’ he said. ‘He will strengthen our batting line-up.’

Yousuf was banned last year after he defected to the Indian Cricket League (ICL) but was recalled in the national team earlier this weak after he broke ties with the rebel Twenty20 league.

Intikhab said that batters like skipper Younis Khan and Yousuf, Pakistan can look forward to a good showing in Sri Lanka.

He pointed out that Pakistan have always played well Murali and Mendis and can do that again this summer.

Pakistan broke the M&M code at home earlier this year with Younis scoring a match-saving triple hundred in the opening Test in Karachi.

Intikhab said that with the in-form pacer Umar in the side, Pakistan will go into the series with a reliable bowling attack.

His team will not get much time to switch from Twenty20 to Test mode, but Intikhab is confident that it will do that without mush fuss.

‘It’s very important for us to get into the Test mode,’ he said. ‘Test cricket is a completely different ball game. You have to be more patient, more determined to stay on the wicket. Your shot selection has to be really good.

‘It is tough to just switch from Twenty20 to Test cricket, but I’m confident that the boys will do that because they are hungry for more success.
Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Thursday, June 25th, 2009 and is filed under Cricket, General.

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