Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq says the exit of star Australian bowlers Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath will make his own team a lot more confident to beat the world champions.
In his diary on a web portal, the experienced batsman noted that Australia’s bowling attack would suffer following the retirement of the two seasoned strike bowlers. “Warne and McGrath are great players, great bowlers. Without them Australia is definitely going to be a lot weaker and teams will now be much more confident about beating them,” he said.
“Both players always seem to perform when Australia win and it’s no coincidence,” added Inzamam who is to lead Pakistan in an away series against South Africa next month. Warne, the world’s most successful bowler, has announced that he would retire after the final Ashes Test next month while McGrath has decided to hang his boots after next spring’s World Cup in the West Indies.
Inzamam added: “Everybody in cricket will miss them, but more importantly I think Australia will miss them a great deal because they are big performers and take most of the team’s wickets as we can see from the fact they have over 1,200 Test wickets between them. Every batsman will take a sigh of relief now they are gone.”
He pointed out that Australia would feel a lot more vulnerable once their most successful bowlers are out of the picture. “It’s not good news for Australia as I can remember a couple of other occasions when they didn’t play and they found it very tough,” he explained.
“When India toured there a couple of years back, they drew the series and could have lost. That showed how much Australia rely on them. And the two matches England won in last year’s Ashes was when McGrath didn’t play. I know my own team will be a lot more confident of beating them now,” he added.
Inzamam is upbeat about his own team chances in South Africa. “I’m very excited about the New Year that starts with our tour of South Africa, and the World Cup following soon after. I’m very confident Pakistan can have a good year,” he wrote. Inzamam termed his 17-member touring party for South Africa as a balanced squad.
“I’m pleased with the squad that was picked and especially with the fast bowlers that are in there. There is good balance in the squad and having seen what India’s fast bowlers have achieved I know our boys can cause even more problems on the pitches over there, which help the quicker bowlers,” he explained.
He said that it was unfortunate to overlook fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar from the squad but added that the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ lacked match fitness. “It was a shame Shoaib (Akhtar) couldn’t make it but he hasn’t played any cricket for three months and even before that he only played a few one-day matches in England, when he had waited about nine months to play cricket after injuries,” he said.
“So he will get his chance now to play some first-class cricket in Pakistan and hopefully he will prove himself and be ready to join us for the one-day series,” he added. Inzamam believes the return of Mohammad Asif is going to boost Pakistan.
“Asif has been bowling really well in practice and I’m pleased to have him back with us. Our bowling attack is stronger for having him back. He’s a clever bowler and everybody will want him to play in the Test series, though there is plenty of competition for places,” he said. Pakistan are scheduled to leave for South Africa on January 3 and would play a three-day warm-up game at Kimberly before the opening Tests starts on January 11 at Centurion.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Sunday, December 31st, 2006 and is filed under General.
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