Waqar remains upbeat about England Tests


LAHORE: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis on Sunday said his side was ‘settled’ and confident ahead of their upcoming series against a buoyant Ashes-winning England team.

Pakistan will face England in the first of three Tests in Abu Dhabi from Oct 13 with Pakistani hopes high after their 3-0 rout against the same opponents three years ago.

Then, as now, England entered the contest having vanquished their arch-foes Australia, their most recent contest ending in a 3-2 scoreline for the hosts.

But former fast bowler Waqar said his fourth-ranked team had been consistent in the game’s longer format and stood up well to third-placed England.

“I think recently we played a Test series in Sri Lanka and from that result I will not hesitate to say that we are a good Test side,” ex-Pakistan skipper Waqar told media during a training camp.

Pakistan beat Sri Lanka 2-1, Bangladesh 1-0, Australia 2-0 and finished 1-1 against New Zealand in their last four Test series.

“Our batting has done well for the last one year or so and even before that we played Australia and New Zealand we did well, but we will not take England lightly and for that we need to play with the same passion,” he said.

Waqar praised the Ashes winners but singled out leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who took 22 wickets in Sri Lanka, as a key player for the series.

Yasir made his Test debut in late 2014 but has risen fast and is currently placed number four in the Test bowler rankings.

Before taking on England, Pakistan will tour Zimbabwe where they will play two Twenty20 Internationals and three One-day International matches from Sept 27 to Oct 5.