Pakistan coach Mohsin Khan has said his team was capable of beating any side in the world and stands a very good chance in the forthcoming series against England, provided the players complement the effort they put in with a fighting spirit.
Pakistan, who have not lost any Test or One-Day International series in 2011, now switch their focus to taking on the world’s top-ranked Test side in the new year — the series in the UAE comprises three Tests, three Twenty20s and four ODIs in January and February.
The former opener acknowledged the test that awaits but remained optimistic about his team’s chances following Test wins over New Zealand, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh this year.
“England are top of the table and the most balanced team in the world in all departments,” Mohsin told The Express Tribune. “Their batting and bowling have been superb and they’re also one of the best fielding sides in the world.”
Pakistan’s coach, however, said his team will not start the series as underdogs.
“It will be our toughest test but we have a chance of doing well. We have the talent to beat top teams. We have shown good team spirit as well as the grit. By maintaining the same, I am confident that we can obtain very good results against England.”
Consecutive series triumphs a huge achievement
Mohsin also praised his team for inflicting a clean sweep on the Bangladesh tour in which Pakistan defeated the hosts in all matches.
“Bangladesh are never easy to beat at home. I am very happy that Pakistan maintained its form to overcome them in all formats. We had the pressure of being the favourites and proving that right has boosted our morale.
“The back-to-back series wins, including the Sri Lanka series, is a huge achievement for us. There were some impressive individual performances but overall it was teamwork that led us to success.”
Squad to assemble in a short camp
The coach also confirmed that a short conditioning camp will be held before the England series.
“The players have been advised to rest for a couple days. They have also been instructed to start individual exercises before the conditioning camp. We will finalise the schedule and venue of the camp shortly.”
Mohsin ready to serve Pakistan
Mohsin Khan, despite uncertainty over his coaching future, is ready to serve as coach for the England series.
The former Test cricketer was named caretaker coach for the Sri Lanka series and has received an extension to his tenure twice since then. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board has decided against naming him the permanent coach and continues its hunt with Dav Whatmore said to be the front-runner.
“I am happy that the board has shown faith in me by retaining me as coach. With dignity, I am ready to serve my country, even if it’s for a single day.”
The coach also rubbished reports of his skirmishes with players, confirming that he ‘enjoyed the understanding’ he had with them.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2011.