Butt open to suggestions as England loom

Updated: 26 July 2010 16:04 IST

Pakistan's novice captain Salman Butt is happy for his players to keep offering him advice during their forthcoming series against England.

Butt open to suggestions as England loom

Leeds:

Pakistan's novice captain Salman Butt is happy for his players to keep offering him advice during their forthcoming series against England if it helps to build a united team.

Butt, in his first match as captain, led Pakistan to a three-wicket second Test win against Australia at Headingley here on Saturday -- a victory that ended a record run of 13 straight Test defeats at the hands of the Aussies stretching back 15 years.

While Pakistan were in the field, several players could be seen wanting a word with their new skipper and, while some captains might see that as a challenge to their authority, 25-year-old opening batsman Butt was delighted.

"Being humans we are never happy, when you have advice you never want it and when you do want it you say 'nobody comes and gives it to me'," Butt said.

"I'm very lucky. The best thing they (the players) are doing is they are reading the game, they are in the game.

"It's not that I take all the advice, but it's important for me that every player is in the game and thinking about the game.

"If I'm open to every man, even a youngster playing his first game, then that will mean he will believe in me. So to build a team, I think this is a very important thing to do."

Pakistan just did enough to reach their victory target of 180 against Australia here at Headingley on Saturday, although they lost seven wickets before they were able to square a two-match series at 1-1.

Only a week earlier, Australia had thrashed Pakistan by 150 runs at Lord's, a defeat that prompted Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi to quit Test cricket.

But teenager Mohammad Aamer, well supported by fellow seamers Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul, took advantage of overcast conditions at Headingley for a match haul of seven wickets.

And Pakistan's successful run chase featured a maiden fifty from Azhar Ali in what was only the batsman's second Test

Pakistan's seamers, together with leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, certainly appear capable of posing England's batsmen problems when the first of a four-Test series starts at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

But there are doubts about a batting line-up where Ali, Umar Amin and Umar Akmal have played just 12 Tests between delivering big totals, although Pakistan do have Yasir Hameed, a veteran of 23 Tests, in reserve.

"I can't predict what is going to happen (against England)," Butt said.

"We know tough times will come. We know it will not be an easy ride so we have to stick together and try our best. That's all we can do."

There has been speculation that, with Afridi out with a side strain, Pakistan might call up either of ex-captains Mohammad Yousuf or Younus Khan, both originally left out after bans imposed following a series whitewash in Australia this year, to bolster the top order.

However, Butt indicated he was happy with what he had and said even his pace attack faced competition from the uncapped duo of Wahab Riaz and Tanvir Ahmed.

"The discussion (on a replacement) is yet to take place. We'll see, maybe we will discuss it but at the moment I think everything is fine," said Butt.

"We have two or three guys sitting out of the side who we can rely on.

"We have a left-arm seamer who bowls at 90 miles per hour at the first change in Wahab Riaz.

"We also have Tanvir Ahmed who got 90 wickets in the domestic season.

"He's a very good seam bowler - Shane Warne said when he was watching him the other day that he looks like a very good bowler."

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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