Inzamam wants improved fielding
Inzamam-ul-Haq is eyeing a decisive 3-0 lead by trouncing England here at Trent Bridge today in the fourth One-day International (ODI) but is concerned by a pathetic display by his fielders in recent outings.
The Pakistan captain has been at the helm of a Pakistani squad that is on a roll in the ODI series with terrific performances coming from the bowlers and the batsmen. The tourists’ ground fielding is, however, a different story.
Pakistani fielders looked like schoolboys during the most of the third ODI which they won by two wickets at the Rose Bowl, Southampton on Tuesday and Inzamam believes they will have to improve in the coming matches to assure a clean sweep in the series.
“We want to win this series comprehensively but to do that our fielding will have to show improvement,” Inzamam said ahead of today’s day-night game where a win would assure the visitors a series win.
Pakistan have dominated the ODI series so far and after being denied a seemingly easy win at Cardiff by inclement weather, they have beaten the home side at Lord’s and Rose Bowl.
At Trent Bridge they would once again be the favourites as England look unlikely to end their limited overs misery. The home team have lost nine of their last ten completed one-dayers and their only ODI win this summer came against minnows Ireland.
Pakistan, on the other hand, have been impressive with both their bowlers and batsmen contributing in the two wins. At Lord’s it were the bowlers spearheaded by speedster Shoaib Akhtar who dominated while the trio of Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam sealed a win at the Rose Bowl where Pakistan chased 271 under lights.
“We have been good with the bat and ball but the fielding is simply not up to the mark. I’ve told the boys that the only way we can keep on winning ODI matches is consistently is through better fielding,” he stated.
Pakistan are unlikely to make much changes in their line-up but there are chances of a change in the batting order.
Shoaib Malik has been struggling for runs since the start of the series but the team management is not fully ready to replace him with left-handed opener Imran Farhat. He might be asked to bat down the order to shield him from the new ball that has been causing the batsmen a lot of problems in this series.
Pakistan, beaten 0-3 in the Test series, know they are well-placed to avenge that embarrassment which is a big reason why the visitors are unlikely to relax after winning the last two games.
“It is very important for us to keep the tempo going,” said Inzamam. “We want to win this series and then go on to do well in the ICC Champions Trophy,” he added, referring to the one-day tournament starting in India next month.
Pakistan are expecting a better showing from their pace duo of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif after an average outing at the Rose Bowl.
Shoaib has nine wickets from the previous three ODIs but was not in his element in the last match. Similar was the case of Asif who failed to find much rhythm on Tuesday.
Unable to find any answers to their one-day losing streak, England might go for a few changes up the order at Trent Bridge.
The hosts might drop out-of-form opener Marcus Trescothick for today’s game after he ruled himself out of the ICC Champions Trophy. Trescothick, England’s most seasoned batsman, has been in terrible form this summer and was bowled first ball by Shoaib Akhtar in the previous game.
England coach Duncan Fletcher is considering bringing the big-hitting Kevin Pietersen as an opener in the match.
Trescothick has made himself available for the match but England are expected to replace him with either Alastair Cook or Ed Joyce.
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