Shoaib backs Pak to beat Australia in the absence of greats

March 26th, 2009 - 4:19 pm ICT by ANI  

Shoaib Akhtar Karachi, Mar.26 (ANI): Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar believes that the Australian team does not pose as great a threat now as it did three to four years ago.

Akhtar said it was much easier to beat the Aussies now, as they did not have many star players in the squad.

He said that if the Pakistani players put up a good show in the forthcoming one day series in UAE, they can beat the world champions.

“Australia is now much easier to beat than before and if we play our best we can beat them in the series,” The News quoted Akhtar, as saying.

He said that the Kangaroos are not the same side it was earlier, with the likes of Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, and Matthew Hayden retiring from the game.

“Australia now doesn’t have as many quality players as in the past. They were beaten by South Africa in the one-day series in Australia and judging by their strength in one-dayers I think we can beat them,” Akhtar added.

While Akhtar may think that the Aussies lack class, the new breed of players have proved that the team is not low on talent.

With Phil Hughes performing brilliantly at the top of the order, and Marcus North and Ben Hilfenhaus proving their worth with the ball, Australia still remains a formidable squad particularly when bowlers like Michael Johson are in the team, who can blast bowlers away with his bat too.

Akhtar expressed hope that he would be selected for the series against Australia, and said he has fully recovered from his injury.

“I have been working very hard and gearing up to play against Australia. I will play more domestic matches so that I can prove my fitness to the selectors and the rest is with them,” he said. (ANI)

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