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Imad Wasim backs Pakistan to show one-day class

LONDON: Pakistan all-rounder Imad Wasim insists his side are determined to show their one-day international credentials after a pair of lacklustre efforts against England.

Imad and his team-mates are ninth in the International Cricket Council one-day rankings after defeats in Southampton and at Lord’s left them 2-0 down with three to play against England.

Nevertheless Imad says Azhar Ali’s team have it in them to battle back in the third match at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.

“With the talent we’ve got, I don’t think it’s a number nine team,” he said.

“We have to show that in big matches like tomorrow. I believe we can come back.

“We have to work hard, trust ourselves and show our skills in front of the cameras.”

Imad concedes England will be even more formidable with Ben Stokes able to bowl again, after figuring as a specialist batsman only in the first two matches, but he is convinced Pakistan will still measure up.

“He’s a great cricketer, a genuine all-rounder and one of the best (in the world),” Imad said on Monday.

“When Ben Stokes is fit to bowl, England are definitely even stronger.

“But if we get ourselves right, we’re going to give them a tough time.”

Former World Cup winners Pakistan have slumped below all other Test-playing nations in the ICC’s ODI table and Imad knows it is time to make amends for that embarrassment.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever been number nine in the world,” Imad said.

“But if we stay united – which we are – we’re going to show the cricketing world what we’re capable of, just like we did in the Test matches.

“We’re number one in them, and we’re really looking forward to putting our rankings up in the one-dayers.”

Imad’s career-best 63 not out helped Pakistan recover from two for three at Lord’s, where they were then unable to defend 251 all out.

The Swansea-born all-rounder is looking forward already to a weekend return to his native country, for the final match of the series in Cardiff.

He knows much hard work will be needed for a happy homecoming, and believes Pakistan must simply cast aside their struggles to date.

“It’s just cricket, and it can happen to any team,” he said.

“We’re ready, up for it. Whatever is gone is gone – it’s done.

“We have to get some runs on the board, and give our bowlers a chance.” –AFP