Miandad, Ijaz warn Pakistan of stern Lanka test

Pakistan are in for a tough battle against Sri Lanka in the forthcoming Test series despite their recent triumph in the World T2, warned Miandad.

updated: June 30, 2009 15:31 IST
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Pakistan are in for a tough battle against Sri Lanka in the forthcoming Test series despite their recent triumph in the World Twenty20, warned former players Javed Miandad and Ijaz Ahmed.

"I think the amount of responsibility on our players to do well has now increased a lot after their World Cup triumph. They will have to play better than they did in the Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka to win the series," former Pakistan captain and coach Miandad said on Tuesday.

Miandad said from his experience of touring Sri Lanka as a player and coach, he could tell that Pakistan would face a tough challenge.

"The Sri Lankans are never an easy side to beat in their own backyard and they have some quality spinners," he said. Miandad said captain Younis Khan and his players will have to bat with lot of application in Sri Lankan conditions to give the home side a run for their money.

"We have traditionally done well in Sri Lanka but in the past they had only Muttiah Muralitharan, now they have a good spinner in Ajantha Mendis as well," he said.

The former captain, who is also director-general cricket in the Pakistan Cricket Board, advised Younis and other players to focus hard and adjust quickly to Test cricket requirements.

Ijaz said winning in Sri Lanka was always a big challenge as many teams had found out in the past.

"Muralitharan and Mendis are match winning bowlers specially on home soil. They even troubled India last year. And I think on Sri Lankan pitches with low bounce, Lasith Malinga will also cause lot of problem for our batsmen," he said.

Ijaz said only one spinner Pakistan spinner, Saeed Ajmal, can pose some problem for the Sri Lankan batsmen.

Ijaz, who was recently released on bail in a fraud case, said he had apprehensions about Pakistan's batting line-up as only Younis plays spin bowling well.

"There is no doubt that Mohammad Yousuf is a class act and a prolific scorer for Pakistan but he is returning to international cricket after a while and he has not played international cricket since last year, so he will take time to find his touch," he noted.

Ijaz also said all-rounder Shahid Afridi had been Pakistan's best bowler in the last two years and his absence would hurt Pakistan.

"Afridi has done very well in recent series and his confidence is also sky high after the T20 success. I am afraid his absence will make a difference to our attack," the former batsman said.