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Bob backs his boys to the hilt

Pakistan's resilience has been attributed to various factors, but Woolmer puts it down to sheer talent of players, writes Subhash Rajta

india Updated: Oct 21, 2006 00:28 IST

By beating Sri Lanka, Pakistan once again proved that they are most dangerous when pushed to the wall. This typical resilience of theirs has been attributed to various factors, but coach Bob Woolmer puts it down to sheer professionalism and talent of the players.

“They are very good cricketers and thorough professionals. They don’t let the external factors affect them once they are on the field, and the victory over Sri Lanka gives testimony to the fact,” said Woolmer.

While praising the professionalism and the talent of his side, the coach also took the opportunity to dismiss the perception that his boys were not as intelligent as thought. He asserted that their simplicity does not mean lack of intelligence.

“They have high level of emotional and sporting knowledge. I agree, most of them have not been to those big universities but they are extremely good readers of the game and that’s what matters,” he said.

Citing another example of the professional attitude of the side, he said the players were gradually putting the dope scandal behind them. “Although no one would forget the dope scandal, which rocked the side at the most unfortunate time, in a hurry, the players know they are professionals and have to take everything in their stride to perform to their potential,” he said.

The coach also didn’t look too perturbed by the absence of their three top players. “These three would certainly be missed, but I have a lot of confidence in others,” he said.

He agreed that the victory over Lanka was a big morale booster, but he refused to get carried away with it. “We are happy but we have our feet firmly planted on the ground. This is just the beginning and we still have a long way to go to prove ourselves,” he said.

He, however, did not hesitate in stating that his team, especially the bowlers, would be even better than they were in the last contest. “The bowlers were not mentally prepared to play the game as the dope scandal broke at the eleventh hour. But they would be better prepared this time, especially with helpful conditions and the victory under their belt,” he said.