Azhar Mahmood confident ahead of Ireland-England tour

Pakistan bowling coach says bowlers are fit and ready to challenge the hosts

Azhar Mahmood confident ahead of Ireland-England tour

Pakistan began their preparation for the Ireland-England Test series with a training camp on Thursday and bowling coach Azhar Mahmood believes the players selected are perfect for the conditions and have been trained accordingly.

Mahmood, while talking to The Express Tribune, said that the bowlers, especially the pacers, are in form and are ready to take on the challenge for the Test tour.

“The pacers who have been selected have been playing cricket lately and they all are in form,” he said. “The fitness tests have assured that the players are fit and can stay fit throughout the series.”

He added that every player, including pace spearheads Muhammad Amir and Hasan Ali, are required to bowl with their minds rather than just using brute force to see out the Tests.

“This is a mind game and you have tire the batsman and then attack on his weak areas to dismiss him,” he said. “These players will be really suitable to the conditions in England and Ireland where our focus would be to use less pace and more technique.”

The Pakistani bowling line-up apart from Ali and Amir includes Muhammad Abbas, Rahat Ali, Faheem Ashraf and spinner Shadab Khan, while all-rounder Haris Sohail will also be another spin-bowling option.

The team will be playing two practice matches against Ireland — the two-day games will be played on April 23-24 at Merrion Cricket Club and April 26-27 at Pembroke CC, before they play the lone Test match from May 11 to May 15 at The Village in Dublin.