Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf says their batsmen will be ‘tested’ in the upcoming England tour thanks to the national team having played only in friendly conditions in the UAE in the last few years.
In the latest Test rankings issued by the ICC, Pakistan is placed third behind Australia and India after a series of convincing performances in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
These are the venues where Pakistan has been forced to play their ‘home’ games ever since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus at 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,” 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 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.
Yousuf said that Pakistan had the advantage of having more experienced batsmen and more potent bowlers.
“I think Pakistan should do better than Sri Lanka. Because Younis, Misbah, Azhar and Asad Shafiq all have plenty of experience but the key will be how quickly they adjust to the English conditions and pitches,” he said.
Yousuf, who played 90 Tests and 288 one-day internationals, said that despite Pakistani batsmen struggling in England in the past but they always managed to put up a fight.
“The 2010 tour I think was our worst in England in many years and this team will be challenged to ensure they perform better and the tour is not a repetition (of 2010),” he added.