UAE pitches to favour us: Cheema

Fast-bowler backs teammates to test English batsmen.

Express January 05, 2012

LAHORE: Fast-bowler Aizaz Cheema is hoping to use his knowledge of Pakistan pitches in the UAE in order to dent England’s hopes of starting off the new year with a series-win.

The 31-year-old confirmed that the pitches and conditions in the UAE will suit Pakistan more, thus allowing the ‘hosts’ to take advantage.

“The pitches in the UAE are quite similar to the ones found in Pakistan and that’s why it will benefit us more,” said Cheema after the second day of the national squad’s training camp in Lahore. “All of us have the pressure to perform but since we are used to playing on these pitches, we can use them more to our advantage.”

Unity key to success: Akmal

Meanwhile, Umar Akmal, who returned to the Test squad after missing out on the series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, remains eager to show his worth in the longest format of the game by scoring big.

“The position I am batting on is not ideal for big scores but I’ve always batted here and the key is to improve the technique,” he said. “I will try my best to make Pakistan come out on top on my comeback.”

Akmal also lauded the team’s current run of success and labelled unity as the key ingredient behind the wins.

“Ever since I’ve been part of the national squad, I haven’t witnessed any sort of grouping in the dressing room. The team is playing as a unit, ever player trusts the other and that is boosting our performance.”

Meanwhile, left-armer Junaid Khan passed his fitness test yesterday, after satisfying the Pakistan Cricket Board’s panel of doctors. His place in the Test squad was pending the fitness test.The young fast-bowler was injured during Pakistan’s series against Sri Lanka.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2012.

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