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Azhar Mahmood insists Pakistan are well prepared for bouncer barrage
Pakistan News

Azhar Mahmood insists Pakistan are well prepared for bouncer barrage

Bowling coach Azhar Mahmood has admitted that England are likely to use the bouncer ploy against Pakistan after this aggressive approach paid dividends for the West Indies in their World Cup opener on Friday.

Seven Pakistan batsmen faltered to a bumper barrage opted by the West Indies pace trio, exposing an obvious weakness in their batting. Pakistan now return to the same venue to take on England on Monday and would be expecting to face more of the same venom espoused by their Caribbean counterparts.

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A sign of aggression in store for the Pakistan batters can be adjudged by how Hashim Amla suffered concussion in the aftermath of a nasty blow from England's Jofra Archer in the tournament opener on Thursday.

"We didn't handle the short ball really well and we practised a lot, and we know it will come," Mahmood said on the eve of Trent Bridge clash.

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"When teams come from the subcontinent, the other teams will use those sort of tactics," added Mahmood, a former all-rounder who represented Pakistan in 164 international games.

"All the teams will bowl short against us so we are practising, and we've done it before, so I think we need to move on and concentrate on the next game."

'Beating England won't be an upset'

Pakistan's shambolic start in the World Cup has elongated their win less run in ODI cricket, succumbing to 11 consecutive losses.

The highly unpredictable nature of the side, however, indicates that they are never far from overturning their fortunes. The ability to cause a dramatic turnaround was a feature of their successful 2017 Champions Trophy campaign, which saw them perform remarkably well after a humiliating defeat to India in their first match of the tournament.

"We can beat them (England). It would not be an upset. We have the ability to beat them," emphasized Mahmood, as he also hinted at Asif Ali's inclusion in the clash against the hosts.

"If you see the one-day series, we were not that far from England. They scored 1,430-odd runs, we scored 1,370 runs, so we were 70 runs short.

"Our fielding was not up to the mark and we give an extra bonus because we had an inexperienced bowling line-up. They need to learn from their mistakes."

'We need 10 good balls to dismiss them'

The 22-yard strip is the similar one where England piled on a world record total of 481 for six against Australia last year, bettering their previous score of 444 versus Pakistan in 2016.

"(England) have skill, and they are the best batting line-up," said Mahmood. "The 480 pitch has been a world-record pitch, but they have to play 300 balls to get to that record.

"We have to bowl 10 good balls to get 10 wickets, so we have ability and the skills to do that."