Pakistan coach upbeat about team’s chances against Aussies

March 21st, 2009 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, March 21(IANS) Pakistan cricket captain Younis Khan may be making attempts to lower expectations from his boys in their one-day games against Australia but coach Intikhab Alam is upbeat about the team’s chances in the April 22-May 7 series in the UAE.
Intikhab, a former Pakistan captain, said Saturday that he believes that batting-friendly tracks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi could boost his team’s chances in the one-day series against the Aussies.

Intikhab, 67, pointed out that Australia may find the going tough in hot UAE weather, where the playing conditions will be similar to the sub-continent, as they have played most of their cricket either at home or South Africa in the last few months.

“The wickets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are likely to be slow and batting-friendly,” said Intikhab. “The Australians will need some time to come to terms with the low and slow pitches after having played a lot on bouncy tracks. It is one factor which should benefit us,” he stressed.

Pakistan will play Australia in five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 game in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It was previously agreed by the two countries to play the series in Pakistan but the Aussies refused to visit the country because of security concerns.

Intikhab said the series against Australia is a huge challenge for his charges who have mostly played against lower-ranked teams in the last 15 months.

“We have played and won against less strong teams like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and now it’s time to rise to what is a huge challenge for our young team,” he said.

Intikhab said his boys are looking forward to the series. “The good thing is that the players are itching to take the field (against Australia) and I’m confident that they will give their best in it.”

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