Friday, June 27, 2008

Closest meet in years

Malik held the view that India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka all have equal chances of winning it. "I wouldn't say any team are the favourites," he told reporters.

"India are a strong and balanced side but we showed in the tri-series final they can be beaten. So in a way this Asia Cup I think is going to be the closest one in recent years," he added.

Twenty Pakistani probables began their training in a conditioning camp for the continental tournament with wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, the notable player, missing from action. He was dropped after his poor form continued in the recently-concluded Kitply cup and has been replaced by young Sarfraz Nawaz.

Malik said his team's only advantage would be playing in home conditions.

"Other than that all three top teams are balanced and can win on their day. The pitches also don't make much of a difference as there is no dew problem in Karachi at this time of the year even at night time," he said.

The Pakistan skipper said he is expecting high scoring games in the super four stage from June 28. He also said he is looking forward towards the match against India on June 26.

"The June 26 match against India is obviously going to be a big one as they are playing in Pakistan after a while now," he said.

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