ICL: Indian Cricket League

England can retain Ashes series, says Woolmer



Pakistan cricket team’s coach Bob Woolmer insisted England could mount a successful defence of the Ashes after they crushed his side by 167 runs here at Headingley.

England’s victory left them 2-0 up in the four-match series, with just the final Test later this month at The Oval to come, and was their first Test campaign triumph since they regained the Ashes last year.

And this series win was achieved without star all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, the man England hope will captain them in Australia later this year, who scored 402 runs and took 24 wickets against Ricky Ponting’s side in 2005.

“If they can get Andrew Flintoff back and keep their bowlers fit they’ve got a reasonable chance,” said Woolmer. “Australia are very difficult to beat at home but England will take a lot of positives out of these last two games,” added Woolmer, whose side hadn’t previously lost a Test series since going down 3-0 to Australia in 2004-05.

England captain Andrew Strauss, leading the team in the absence of both Flintoff (ankle) and victorious Ashes skipper Michael Vaughan (knee), said it was vital the side had enjoyed a win well before the first Test against Australia at Brisbane on November 23.

“It’s very important to get back to winning ways,” said the opening batsman, who scored 116 in England’s second innings. “We’ve played some very good Test cricket since the last Ashes series, but we probably haven’t done it as consistently as we’d have liked.

“Success breeds success and hopefully we can go out and do it again at The Oval and we’ll be in a very good position to look forward to the Ashes,” added Strauss, aiming to be a member of the first England side in 20 years to win a Test series in Australia,

At Headingley, Pakistan had to chase 323 on the final day. By lunch they’d collapsed to 84 for five, Mohammad Yousuf run out for eight by Paul Collingwood, and were eventually bowled out for 155.

“Yousuf and Younis Khan are a wonderful pair at running between the wickets,” said Woolmer. “But the run-out by Collingwood was fantastic. He got there quickly, he did everything right and hit the stumps. England played better than us and we made too many mistakes.”

Meanwhile, Woolmer urged everyone involved with Pakistan cricket to hold their nerve. “The team that we have here has done well over the last 18 months, two years and I think it’s important we remember that,” he stated, adding, ìLosing a cricket match or a series is not the end of the world.”

Source:The News

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