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Pakistan prepared for Aussie sledging: Yousuf

Source: PTI
December 24, 2009 09:39 IST
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Pakistan captain Muhammad Yousuf says his players are fully prepared to handle any sledging incident during the upcoming three-match Test series against Australia, commencing on December 26 in Melbourne.

"Australia always play tough cricket on the field and at times they try to pressurise their opponents with their banter and sledging habits. But we are prepared for this treatment and I have told the boys to be prepared to face this pressure," Yousuf told reporters.

Yousuf said his players had followed the recently-concluded series between Australia and the West Indies.

West Indies spinner Suleman Benn had an ugly confrontation with Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin during the third Test and Shane Watson was also fined by match referee for behaving badly after dismissing Chris Gayle in the second innings of the third Test in Perth.

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting, however, has said he expects his players not to repeat the same behaviour in the Pakistan series.

Yousuf said he has advised his players to respond to any Australian sledging by performing well on the field.

"That is the best answer you can give to anyone. The Pakistani players are mentally strong and would not be bothered by any sledging tactics. We are also in Australia to play hard and we have a definitively strong bowling line-up so we are not worried," Yousuf said.

Mindful of the fact that Pakistan has never won a Test series in Australia, Yousuf said the team is carrying out special training to improve their fielding and batting standards in Australia.

"The fact that we played a close Test series in New Zealand is good for us and I am sure our experienced batsmen like Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul Haq will strike their best form soon. They just one need one long innings to get back their confidence," Yousuf said.

"I know my boys can handle such pressure. We are looking forward to some close matches in Australia," he added.

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