x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Aizaz Cheema refuses to take England's lack of runs too seriously

The Pakistan fast bowler believes the world's top-ranked Test team will get their batting problems sorted out in the five-day game.

Aizaz Cheema, the Pakistan fast bowler, during nets practice in Dubai on Wednesday.
Aizaz Cheema, the Pakistan fast bowler, during nets practice in Dubai on Wednesday.

DUBAI // Aizaz Cheema, the upcoming fast bowler, on Wednesday said Pakistan were not reading much into England's recent run of poor batting displays, acknowledging that Test matches would be a different ball game.

England, who rose to world No 1 in Test rankings last year, were restricted to 185 for eight and managed 261 for seven during their hard fought three-wicket win in a three-day match against an ICC Combined XI.

They were also unimpressive with 269 for nine declared against Pakistan Cricket Board XI on Wednesday, with only Alastair Cook showing good form, scoring 133.

"Test match cricket will be different, it will have different conditions and teams will have a different approach come the first Test," said Cheema of the three-Test series which starts here on January 17.

"At the back of their mind, England players will know that they are playing a Test so we are not reading much into their failures in the games and are ready for them."

Cheema, 32, made his mark with eight wickets in his debut Test against Zimbabwe in September and has since been an mainstay in the team. He said England will not be different from other teams.

"The challenge of playing England is not much different from other challenges and we are not taking England differently. We have done well recently so we need to keep that momentum," he said.

Pakistan have not lost a Test series since losing to England in 2010 – a tour marred by the spot-fixing scandal.

Cheema said it was essential all the bowlers kept the basics right.

"England may be the top team in the world but we need to do the basics right, like we always do and if you give 100 per cent then any team can struggle against you," he said, adding that Cook and fellow opener Andrew Strauss would be a challenge.