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Younis Khan positive about Pakistan’s chances in England

ISLAMABAD (Online): As Pakistan get ready to leave for the long tour of England, Younis Khan, middle-order batsman, says his team is undaunted at the prospect of facing the in-form England bowling pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

Pakistan are scheduled to play England in a series of four Tests, five One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and a solitary Twenty20 international. The first Test is due to start at the Lord’s in London on July 14.

Younis reckons that Pakistan’s familiarity will come in handy against the potent new-ball pair of England, who have together scalped a combined total of 799 Test wickets from 210 matches. “No doubt about Anderson and Broad — they are the top bowlers these days.

But we play regularly against Broad, Finn and Anderson,” Younis told AFP on the sidelines of a dinner organised by Britain’s High Commissioner in Lahore on Thursday (June 16).

“If you go there and play according to your plans you’ll be successful in any conditions and against any bowler.”

Pakistan’s last tour to England, in 2010, turned out to be a forgettable one. Not only did the visitors lose the series by a 3-1 margin, but three members of the team – Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and the then captain Salman Butt – were convicted with spot-fixing charges and jailed after being caught in the act during the final Test at Lord’s. Amir is now back with the squad and the team will kick start their tour at the same venue, but Younis, who wasn’t part of that team, says the ugly events of 2010 is a closed chapter in thehistory of Pakistan cricket and they are now looking ahead with confidence.

“It is always a pleasure whenever you play in Lord’s,” he said. “The tradition and using that dressing room and that ground… in my mind it’s always a challenge and a pleasure for me so playing cricket in England is all about that,” Younis added.

Since the drubbing, Pakistan haven’t lost a Test to England and have defeated them twice in their adopted home in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They gained a measure of revenge for their 2010 humiliation with a 3-0 whitewash in 2012 and then beat England by a 2-0 margin when the two teams met late last year.

Younis and Misbah-ul-Haq, team captain, continue to be the lynchpins of this Pakistan batting line-up, but Younis reckons that

Pakistan have more to offer than just the two veterans. “Asad Shafiq is there, Azhar Ali is there, then after them there are some upcoming youngsters,” he said.