|Pakistan players during pratice at the EdenGardens on Thursday
Calcutta: Pakistan has imbibed a new confidence under Bob Woolmer and this has been reflected in their performance. Come Saturday, Shoaib Malik and Rana Naveed-ul Hasan stand to testify to the benefits the youngsters have been reaping under the Englishman.
Be it through technical assistance or enhancing practice hours, Woolmer's availability has worked wonders with the duo. It is his presence that has prompted Pakistan to think that they can achieve goals with limited talent in hand.
'Woolmer has been of great help. His technical knowhow is excellent. It is after his advice that I have stopped shuffling and the results are here to stay,' said Malik whose century in the Asia Cup virtually took the match out of India's grasp. It was also at Woolmer's advice that Malik was promoted to the No.3 slot.
Rana was also all praise for the coach. 'He's been good for the team. The support of the players has also gone a long way in making this side into a winning unit.'
Pakistan have won three matches against India ' Asia Cup, the tri-series in Amstelveen and the ICC Champions Trophy ' and are aiming for their fourth at the Eden on Saturday.
'A lot will depend on luck in a one-day contest. Only one team wins,' Malik said after more than two hours of practice.
Rana was more pragmatic. 'There's no pressure as such. You've to perform to win. Whoever plays to win on the given day will win. We performed better in the last three contests and won.'
Malik has been more in the news after being reported for a suspect action during the tri-series at home. He did not wish to dwell on the matter but admitted it 'does affect you to an extent'. The off-spinner will consult a biomechanic expert during their tour Down Under.
The allrounder admitted he was not looking too far ahead. 'I don't have any future plan as such. I take one match at a time,' Malik said.
Pakistan are likely to go in with three pacers ' Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammed Sami and Rana. With Imran Farhat and Taufiq Umer opening the innings, Malik, Yusuf Youhana, Inzamam-ul Haq, Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi will follow.
Malik wasn't worried about the dew factor. 'We're professionals and have to perform,' he said.
That has been their mantra under Woolmer.