Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis expressed confidence in the capability of his team to beat England in the upcoming three-match Test series taking place against the Three Lions in the United Arab Emirates.
“We are focused on the Test series against England more than the Zimbabwe tour,” said the former Pakistan captain during an interview to a local TV channel.
“I just want the boys to replicate the performances they gave against Australia and New Zealand last year,” said Waqar, adding that it was a very important series for them.
Pakistan beat Australia 2-0 and tied 1-1 with New Zealand last year in the UAE, largely on the back of lethal spin bowling by Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar and Mohammad Hafeez.
“I am confident we can win this series against England if we play the way we did against Australia and New Zealand. Our players are used to the pitches in the UAE and if we look at the number of centuries scored by Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq or Azhar Ali in Tests, I think we can do well,” he said.
The legendary fast bowler said Ajmal’s absence is not going to effect Pakistan hugely. The off-break bowler though played a key role when Pakistan whitewashed England 3-0 on the same venue back in 2012.
The former pace sensation believed that the Green shirts will be heavily relying on spinners to test the English batsmen.
“I think our spinners, particularly Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar have done very well in recent matches and we are counting on them to continue their form,” said Waqar.
The Pakistan selectors will include either Zafar Gohar or Muhammad Asghar, both of whom are left arm spinners, as the 16th player for the Test series.
Both youngsters have been selected to play in the two tour matches against England in Sharjah before the team management takes a final decision.
“I think our spin resources are more than adequate and the pitches there will assist them. Dubai is a bit different but we also have dependable resources in the pace department,” said Waqar.
Pakistan’s head coach said that the England team is strong and will not be taken lightly at all after their success in the recently concluded Ashes series.
Waqar believed that the home advantage is going to give a very vital edge to the Greens.
“They have some quality players but I think conditions in the UAE are different for them while for our players it is like a second home since we have not been able to play in Pakistan,” said the former cricketer.
Pakistan will be playing three Tests, four ODIs and 3 T20i’s against England in the UAE. The tour kicks off on October 13.