Collingwood ready for Pakistan
Paul Collingwood is adamant there is no reason why he or his fellow England batsmen should feel daunted by the challenge of facing Pakistan's bowlers here at Trent Bridge.cricket Updated: Jul 29, 2010 01:04 IST
Paul Collingwood is adamant there is no reason why he or his fellow England batsmen should feel daunted by the challenge of facing Pakistan's bowlers here at Trent Bridge.
Pakistan go into the first of four-Test series starting Thursday on the back of a dramatic three-wicket second Test win over Australia at Headingley where they dismissed Ricky Ponting's men for just 88 in the first innings last week.
Teenage left-arm quick Mohammad Aamer has been compared to Pakistan hero Wasim Akram while Mohammad Asif was likened to Australia great Glenn McGrath by Pakistan captain Salman Butt. Umar Gul is a fine third seamer while leg-spinner Danish Kaneria completes an admirably balanced attack.
However, Collingwood — returning to Tests after missing England's early season 2-0 home series win over Bangladesh with a shoulder injury — suggested Pakistan were flattered by overcast conditions at Headingley.
"I don't want to go overboard on 'these guys are the best thing since sliced bread' — or Wasim Akram, or this, that and the other," Collingwood told reporters on Tuesday.
Nevertheless he praised the 18-year-old Aamer, saying: "When I was 18, I was just getting a contract for Durham and playing club cricket out in Australia. Seeing a youngster like that (Aamer) is excellent for the game." But Collingwood added: "If we can get through those periods where it can be really tricky, I think we can get on top of them."
England will take heart from the way an inexperienced Pakistan batting line-up lost seven wickets in pursuit of a relatively modest victory target of 180 at Headingley.
So England's bowlers will fancy their chances at Trent Bridge, where paceman Stuart Broad and off-spinner Graeme Swann play for Nottinghamshire.
Injured Shahzad out
England bowler Ajmal Shahzad has been ruled out of the first cricket test against Pakistan due to an ankle injury and replaced by Tim Bresnan.
England Cricket Board doctor Nick Peirce says Shahzad twisted his left ankle playing a domestic match for Yorkshire last week and hasn't recovered sufficiently.