Pak­istan, England look to build one-day fu­ture

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

ABU DHABI: Pak­istan and England will be aim­ing to build one-day sides for the fu­ture as they en­ter a four-match se­ries in Abu Dhabi start­ing to­mor­row.

Pak­istan, who won the pre­ced­ing three­match Test se­ries 2-0, will be in a tight cor­ner as they seek huge im­prove­ment in their one-day rank­ings, in or­der to lift them­selves for the 2019 World Cup to be held in England.

Be­sides hosts England, seven other topranked sides as on 30 Septem­ber 2017, will qual­ify di­rectly for the World Cup, the only way Pak­istan can move up the or­der is by win­ning matches against the higher-ranked sides.

Pak­istan, cur­rently ranked eighth as com­pared to England’s sixth, will be hop­ing they do not re­peat their be­low-par per­for­mances they gave in 2012 when they were blanked 4-0 in the United Arab Emi­rates. Head coach Waqar You­nis be­lieves the cur­rent se­ries is an im­por­tant one for Pak­istan.

“We know the im­por­tance of this se­ries and have to do well to build the side for the fu­ture, es­pe­cially with the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy 2017, rank­ings and the 2019 World Cup all in the mind,” said Waqar.

Un­der Waqar Pak­istan had strug­gled in the 50-over for­mat, los­ing to Sri Lanka, Aus­tralia and New Zealand last year be­fore go­ing down in New Zealand and fail­ing to progress be­yond the last eight in the 2015 World Cup.

But the worst came in Bangladesh where Pak­istan were routed 3-0 in April-their first se­ries de­feat against the neigh­bours. Since then Pak­istan beat Zim­babwe twice (home and away) and Sri Lanka-a progress Waqar wants to build on.

“We have shown progress with some ex­cit­ing young­sters,” said Waqar, whose team lost Mis­bah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi af­ter the World Cup 2015 due to retirement.

Ace spin­ner Saeed Aj­mal is also not in the squad af­ter strug­gling with a new bowl­ing ac­tion, which needed re­mod­elling af­ter it was ques­tioned last year. His place went to leg-spin­ner Yasir Shah who will hope to carry his Test form, tak­ing 15 wick­ets in two matches, into one-days. Waqar said one-day cricket has changed and England have adopted to those ad­mirably. “One-day cricket has changed and now even a 300-plus to­tal is not safe which England have adopted and are a dan­ger­ous side,” said Waqar.

To their credit, England have shown re­mark­able progress af­ter be­ing the only top side not to reach the 2015 World Cup quar­ter-fi­nals.

England beat the 2015 World Cup fi­nal­ists New Zealand 3-2 be­fore go­ing down fight­ing 23 against Aus­tralia-both at home.

England me­dia re­ported some play­ers are train­ing un­der a base­ball ex­pert Ju­lian Wood in or­der to de­velop more hit­ting tech­niques. England’s di­rec­tor of coaches Andy Flower said Wood’s work will help. “Ju­lian has worked with us be­fore, done a re­ally good job,” Flower was quoted as say­ing by Sky Sports. “Part of our job is to of­fer op­tions to play­ers and they make de­ci­sions about whether they want to adopt things.”

Both Pak­istan and England tuned up for the one-day se­ries with com­fort­able warm-up wins against Nepal and Hong Kong re­spec­tively.

The re­main­ing matches will be held in Abu Dhabi (Novem­ber 13), Shar­jah (Novem­ber 17) and Dubai (Novem­ber 20).

Teams (from):

England: Eoin Mor­gan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos But­tler, Chris Jor­dan, Alex Hales, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ja­son Roy, James Tay­lor, Reece Top­ley, David Wil­ley, Chris Woakes, Liam Plun­kett.

Pak­istan: Azhar Ali (capt), Mo­ham­mad Hafeez, Ahmed She­hzad, Bi­lal Asif, You­nis Khan, Shoaib Ma­lik, Babar Azam, Mo­ham­mad Rizwan, Sar­fraz Ahmed, Amir Yamin, An­wer Ali, Yasir Shah, Za­far Go­har, Ra­hat Ali, Wa­hab Riaz, Mo­ham­mad Ir­fansh. — AFP

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