ICL: Indian Cricket League

Inzamam urges troops to pull their socks up for final thrust



An unexpected drubbing at the hands of England at Trent Bridge has forced Pakistan to revise their strategy ahead of the fifth and final One-day International (ODI) here at Edgbaston today (Sunday).

Pakistan, leading the series 2-0, went into the previous game as favourites but failed in all departments of the game to suffer an eight-wicket defeat under lights. The performance was in stark contrast to their previous outings in the ODI contest when the tourists were in commanding form.

Now Pakistan are aware they will have to lift themselves to a higher level to conquer a resurging England in the decisive one-dayer here. Both teams have everything to play for. A win would seal a 3-1 series triumph for the Pakistan, something that they desperately need after being thrashed 3-0 in the four-match Test rubber earlier this summer by England.

For England a positive result would not only help them level the series 2-2 but would also give them a huge morale-booster ahead of next month’s ICC Champions Trophy in India.

“We will have to overcome our problems to win the final match,” said the Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq who was not pleased with the performance of his batsmen who were largely unimpressive at Trent Bridge. Pakistan’s fielding display also remained far from satisfactory and Inzamam says he has been asking his boys to pull up their socks for a final push.

The tourists had a tight grip on the ODI series after winning back-to-back games at Lord’s and Southampton but slowly but surely their performance graph has slipped. Their worst showing came on Friday night when the batsmen fell to the guile of newcomer Michael Yardy and later some of the bowlers including speedster Shoaib Akhtar turned out to be below par.

Shoaib went into the Trent Bridge game with nine wickets in the previous three matches but had no venom for the first time in the contest. He barely reached 90mph and failed to bring much accuracy to his line and length.

Medium pacers Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Abdul Razzaq bowled average spells while spinners Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez were not very threatening either. Inzamam, however, was confident of a better show from his comrades at Edgbaston. “Yesterday was an off day for my team but things would be better in the last match. We would be going all out for a win to seal this series,” the skipper said.

Pakistan have been playing unchanged in the series but might replace the out-of-form Shoaib Malik with left-hander Imran Farhat today. Shoaib has been unable to find any runs since his return to the Pakistani line-up after recovering from an elbow problem.

Having won their first game in 11 ODIs, England are all set to field an unchanged team. Meanwhile, England captain Andrew Strauss is hoping that his team would repeat their Trent Bridge showing at Edgbaston and urged his players to give their best in the final game of the series.

Source:The News

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