Shahzad backs England to dent Australia

Updated: 16 June 2010 12:58 IST

Ajmal Shahzad has warned Australia that his "fearless" team-mates are ready to deal their rivals a psychological blow in the forthcoming one-day serie

Shahzad backs England to dent Australia

London:

England pace bowler Ajmal Shahzad has warned Australia that his "fearless" team-mates are ready to deal their rivals a psychological blow in the forthcoming one-day series.

Shahzad has been called into England's squad for five matches against Australia as cover for the injured Ryan Sidebottom and he senses an extremely positive mood in the dressing room.

The 24-year-old admits England are desperate to warm up for the Ashes in Australia later this year by giving Ricky Ponting's men another beating after defeating them in the recent ICC World Twenty20 final in the Caribbean.

And Shahzad, the first British-born Asian to play for Yorkshire, is confident Andrew Strauss's side won't back down against the ultra-aggressive Australians.

"It will be a step up for the lads. But everybody is focused and ready for it," Shahzad said.

"There's no fear, no nerves - and it's nice to be part of that kind of dressing room."

Sidebottom's hamstring problem has given Shahzad his opportunity in the one-day squad and he is determined to seize the opportunity to stake his claim for a permanent place by impressing against the Australians.

"It's just nice to be called up, and I hope if my chance comes I can grasp it with both hands," he said.

"A lot's happened to me in the last six months. If the chance comes - Ryan's got a niggle, but I don't think it's too bad - I've just got to put in a decent performance and have my name in the hat for the games to come.

"But it's just nice to be involved, and know you're there or thereabouts. I just hope I can get the nod."

Topics : Cricket England Australia West Indies Sreesanth
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