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Saturday, December 18, 2010

NZ tour perfect prep for WC, says Alam

Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam hopes a successful tour of New Zealand will put the squad in the perfect position to mount a serious World Cup challenge."Although the pitches in New Zealand and the sub-continent, where we play the World Cup, are different, a six-match one-day series at the end of the tour will help us build a combination and overcome our shortcomings," Alam told AFP.
Pakistan, who departed on Saturday, open the tour with the first of three Twenty20 internationals on December 26 before playing two tests and six one-dayers – their last commitment before the February 19 to April 2 World Cup.
Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka jointly host the mega event.
Alam, a former coach and captain, said New Zealand will be low on morale but tough to beat at home.
"It is true that New Zealand were blanked in Bangladesh (4-0) and in India (5-0) in the one-day series and would be low on confidence, but they will be playing on home ground and would be tough to beat," said Alam.
"The six one-day internationals give us a chance to use a few combinations and get settled before the World Cup.
"We have been playing well so I am sure that we will achieve better results on the New Zealand tour and then in the World Cup."
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