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Pak to bank on pacers

Karachi: Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez on Wednesday said they would rely on their pace-attack to win the upcoming one-day series in India.

Hafeez’s remarks come at a time when England crushed India by 10 wickets in the Mumbai Test with their spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann sharing 19 wickets on a sharp turning track.

“Historically our pacers have always troubled the Indian batsmen in India and this time also we will be banking on them to do the same thing again,” Hafeez said.

Hafeez said they have quality spinners as well but they have not been very successful against Asian countries.

“There is no doubt that Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi are world class bowlers but against Asian teams they have not had the same degree of success as opposed to other sides.

“The reason for this is that batsmen belonging to Asian teams tend to play spinners well.       

“That is one reason why teams touring India always try to outgun the Indian team through their pace attack.”

Hafeez said Pakistani pacers selected for the tour will also have to be at their best.

“If our pace bowlers bowl well and get wickets there is no reason why we can’t win the series in India,” he said.

The Pakistan captain, who himself bowls off breaks and has been a force for the side in all three formats in recent times, said that Pakistan had always been well served by its pace battery.

“That is why we will rely on our pace bowlers to give us the wickets. We have some exciting talent in the pace department and it is now up to the selectors to select the best lot.”

The national selectors are said to be considering picking four to five pace bowlers for the India tour with a lot of focus on a 19-year old Ehsan Adil who has bowled outstandingly in the first class Presidents Trophy.

Left arm pacer Wahab Riaz, who took five wickets against India at Mohali in the 2011 World Cup semi-final, has also been in terrific form, taking 11 wickets in his last match.

Chief selector Iqbal Qasim said there wouldn’t be much experimentation for the Indian tour.

“It is a tough tour even though we are not playing Test matches and it is a short tour. But still we will need lot of experience to deal with the pressure of the big crowds and the hype and tension that usually comes with a series against India,” Qasim, a former Test spinner himself, said.

Qasim indicated that for the Indian tour the selectors may stick to proven performers instead of relying on youngsters, which is a clear indication that all-rounders such as Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq and Yasir Arafat are certain to tour India.

(PTI)