Pakistan wary of wounded Australians
Pakistan are bracing themselves for an Australia backlash at next month's Champions Trophy in South Africa after Ricky Ponting's side lost the Ashes series to England.world Updated: Aug 25, 2009 15:38 IST
Pakistan are bracing themselves for an Australia backlash at next month's Champions Trophy in South Africa after Ricky Ponting's side lost the Ashes series to England.
Pakistan are drawn in the same group as defending champions Australia and Pakistan captain Younis Khan fears that could spell trouble for his team.
"It would be foolish to rule out Australia from the title run in the Champions Trophy," Younis told Reuters on Tuesday.
"They have some wonderful back up talent and they are strong contenders for the title."
Younis, who spent the last season playing in Australia's Sheffield Shield competition, said his first-hand experience in Australia's first-class competition convinced him the Ashes loss was a temporary failure.
"Their bowling lacked experience for English conditions. But they have lots of talent," he said.
"(They have) a very good captain and the moment they sit down and plan out their future they will comeback strongly."
Pakistan, who were originally chosen to host this year's Champions Trophy before it was moved to South Africa for security reasons, have a poor record in the event, failing to make the final in six attempts.
They are drawn in a tough pool with Australia, West Indies and India but are feeling confident of beating their great rivals after winning this year's Twenty20 World Cup title in England.
The only time Pakistan have defeated India in any of the ICC's three major events, the World Cup, Champions Trophy and Twenty20 World Cup, was at the 2004 Champions Trophy and Younis is hoping for a repeat in South Africa.
"The fact that we have only beaten them once in ICC events is at the back of our minds," he said.
"We want to put the record straight in this Champions trophy."