England tour will real test of Pakistani batsmen : Muhammad Yousuf


New Delhi : Former Pakistan batsman Muhammad Yousuf said that the Pakistani batsmen will be put to test in the upcoming tour of England in July since they have gotten used to playing on friendly conditions in UAE over the past few years. In the latest Test rankings issued by the ICC, Pakistan are placed third behind Australia and India after a series of convincing performances in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. These are venues where they have been forced to play their home series since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March, 2009.

“What worries me is that Pakistan’s Test cricket has mainly been restricted to the UAE for the last few years and in England they have a lot at stake to guard their excellent Test record,” Muhammad Yousuf said.

The 41-year old said the conditions in UAE and England are totally different and the Pakistani batsmen would be severely tested in English conditions against an in-form English bowling attack. "It is going to be a tough tour for us and our first priority should be to ensure we don't fold up like Sri Lanka has done in England," he said.

“I think Pakistan should do better than Sri Lanka because Younus, Misbah, Azhar and Asad Shafiq all have plenty of experience,” he said. “But, the key will be how quickly they adjust to the English conditions,” he added.

Yousuf further said that he was disappointed that new head coach Mickey Arthur had failed to join the team so close to the national side’s departure for England. “The team is due to leave for England in a few days and the new coach is yet to join the players,” he said. Yousuf denies receiving ‘head coach offer’ from Afghan Cricket Association“I don’t think this is ideal preparation for such a big series,” he added.