Despite Pakistan's apparent turmoil on and off the field, England's captain Paul Collingwood says they will not be taking their Twenty20 clashes in Dubai lightly. Pakistan have arrived in the UAE on the back of a disastrous tour of Australia that saw them lose every match, with bitter recriminations resulting in their coach, Intikhab Alam, being left at home, some senior players dropped and their captain, Shahid Afridi, missing the first game on Friday because of a two-match suspension for ball tampering.
"It might be a good time to play them, but you never know what you are going to get from Pakistan on the day," said Collingwood. "I think Pakistan are a dangerous team, it's as simple as that. Whenever you come and play against Pakistan, it's a difficult side to beat. Sometimes you are unsure of what you are going to come up against, but we are really going to concentrate on what we have to do this week. We've got a lot of confidence at the moment, but we don't want to just sit back and rely on the confidence. We want to do some hard yards before the games."
Pakistan are the world Twenty20 champions and Collingwood says he and his team are looking forward to pitting their wits against them on Friday and Saturday. "Pakistan are a very strong Twenty20 side, there's no doubt about that," he said. "I think they have won 20 of 28 T20 matches and that's some record. "So they are a hard team to beat. They've got a lot of depth in the batting and certainly in the Twenty20 format, they seem to play fearless cricket and have got good skills."
Meanwhile, the England Lions beat Pakistan A by eight wickets in a Twenty20 match in Sharjah yesterday to complete a series win. Pakistan were restricted to 106 and an unbeaten 40 from Craig Kieswetter guided England home on 107 for two. The sides meet again in Abu Dhabi tomorrow. firstname.lastname@example.org