England series far more than just about spinners: Mohsin Khan

Mohsin Khan said he doesn’t see it as a duel between the spinners but a competitive fight in all the departments Getty Images

Lahore: Jan 4, 2011

Pakistan coach Mohsin Khan said on Wednesday that the highly anticipated series against England was about far more than just the spinners as his young side eyes a strong start to the year.

Much has been made of the dusty wickets in the United Arab Emirates, where Pakistan play their “home” games, with many pundits saying both teams’ spinners will be decisive.

“I don’t see it as a duel between the spinners,” Khan told reporters on the opening day of a week-long training camp in Lahore. “Both teams are doing well and I see it as a competitive fight in all the departments.”

Pakistan, unbeaten since September, take on the world’s top-rated Test side in the first of three Tests in Dubai from January 17.

Khan, retained as coach after Pakistan Cricket Board’s search for a permanent candidate to replace Waqar Younis goes on, added: “I think both the teams have balance in spin and pace.

“Batting from both the sides will be under pressure and Pakistani batters will have to do 100 percent to combat strong England bowling.”

Former opening batsman Khan added: “There is no doubt they have a better balance than us. We do not have that much experience but our players have talent and fulfilled that recently.”

He singled out for praise captain Misbah-ul Haq.

“In Misbah we have a very wise captain and he has led the way admirably,” said the coach.

Misbah took over as skipper after the tour of England in the summer of 2010 that was dominated by allegations of spot-fixing. Pakistan players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were later convicted.

Khan has previously said that the series in UAE was a fresh start for his fifth-ranked side.

“England will really test us so we have to be at our best,” said Khan.

“I want the players to be in the same rhythm as in our wins against Sri Lanka a few months back,” he said of Pakistan’s 1-0 win in Tests and 4-1 in ODIs.(AFP)