Gul gives Amir tips on how to face English media
Pakistan right-arm quickie Umar Gul believes the tour of England will test left-arm pacer Muhammad Amir’s patience but the veteran has advised him to stay calm and concentrate on the game.
“I am sure the Pakistan management would have spoken to him about it but there is no doubt that Amir will face a lot of pressure during the upcoming tour and this is to be expected due to what happened in 2010,” said Gul.
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“The British media will be following his every move and I would advise him to let his bowling do the talking. He should restrict his movements from the hotel to the ground and back and simply concentrate on his game and nothing else. This will be the best way to answer all of the criticism and back-talk,” he added.
Gul, who was the top ODI performer for Pakistan on the last tour of England where he picked up twelve wickets in five games, thinks Amir will be the key bowler for Pakistan in the seaming conditions.
“We have an excellent bowling attack for this tour and the pick among the fast-bowlers will surely be Amir,” he said. “He will play a key role against England. I expect him to perform very well as he has played in those conditions before. Apart from Amir, Sohail Khan has put in some excellent performances before and knows how to bowl in seaming conditions.”
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He added: “But don’t forget that in leg-spinner Yasir Shah, Pakistan has an excellent bowler who can take wickets on any kind of surface. He has been making steady progress in the past few years and is also a regular with the Pakistan Test squad. Time will tell how Yasir bowls in England but since we are heading towards the middle of the summer in England, we can expect him to get lot of purchase from wickets at The Oval and Edgbaston, especially on the third or fourth days of Test matches.”
Pakistan team is currently in England for a four-Test, five-ODI and one-off T20 series. The series will kick-start with the first Test in Lord’s on July 14 and Gul thinks Pakistan has a good combination to cause problems for England.
“The team selected for the Test series seems to be a good one,” said Gul. “To be honest, no one is really ever satisfied with what selectors choose but in this case, I am happy with the players chosen. This is pretty much similar to the Test team which has proven to be quite successful for a while for Pakistan.”
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Against Sri Lanka in the recently concluded Test matches, James Anderson and Stuart Broad bagged thirty-three wickets between them for England. However, the 32-year-old believes that Pakistani batsmen will fare better than the Sri Lankan willow wielders.
“I am convinced that Pakistan’s batsmen will perform better than Sri Lanka as they have some quality players in their midst,” Gul analysed. “As for Sri Lanka, they are a very weak team in Test matches as it stands today. They have lost Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in recent times and have not found good replacements yet and they cannot rely on Angelo Mathews all the time to help them out. The results against England are ample proof of that.”
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Meanwhile, Gul, who has represented Pakistan in 47 Tests, 126 ODIs and 60 T20Is and has bagged 421 wickets across all format, is still in contention for a spot in the team.
“I am working hard to make sure that I stay fit and will make sure that I keep on putting in good performances at the domestic level,” said Gul. “The rest is up to the selectors. The two Twenty20 tournaments I am playing in Karachi are part of that desire to stay in contention in the long run.”