England keen to keep unbeaten run, says Vaughan
by AFP

Player:MP Vaughan
Event:England in Pakistan 2005/06

DateLine: 28th November 2005


Skipper Michael Vaughan said Monday England were confident of maintaining their unbeaten run when they clash with Pakistan in the third and final Test here.


"It is a big game for all of us because we are 1-0 down. We have not lost a Test series in two-and-a-half years now. We want to keep our unbeaten run intact," Vaughan told reporters on the eve of the match.


Vaughan, who led England to six consecutive Test series victories since 2003, trail 1-0 in the ongoing three-match series following their 22-run defeat in the first Test at Multan.


The second Test ended in a draw at Faisalabad.


Vaughan said he had been looking forward to an improved performance from his team in the must-win Test.


"If we can keep pushing ourselves a little bit further up, which we have not, it will work. If we can get another opportunity to force a win here, we will capitalise on it," he said.


The England captain will open the innings with Marcus Trescothick as regular opener Andrew Strauss has returned home to attend the birth of his child.


All-rounder Paul Collingwood will replace Strauss here.


Vaughan, who missed the first Test due to a knee injury and managed just two and nine runs in the second, said he was hopeful of playing a big innings in Lahore.


"Strauss will be back for the India series late February and I go back at number three. I had a lot of success opening the innings and I hope there is little bit more this week," he said.


England are also sweating over left-arm spinner Ashley Giles's fitness ahead of the match.


"Everyone came through in practice. Giles and James Anderson are, of course, in the frame and so is Liam Plunkett, but we have yet to finalise our team," Vaughan said.


Vaughan said his bowlers needed to put in an extra effort to sustain hopes of squaring the series.


"We have proved in the last two Tests that if you bowl with discipline you can certainly put Pakistan under pressure. We got 20 wickets at Multan and we need to make sure that we do that again here," he said.


"The pitch looks decent. We played here five years ago and it was a good batting pitch with a bit of assistance for seamers early on, but it is not a seaming English pitch."


Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said his team would go all out to clinch their first Test series since a 1-0 triumph in New Zealand in 2004.


"We will play to win, not to draw," said Inzamam, under whose leadership Pakistan have lost two of their previous three home Test series.


Pakistan captain said the weather could play a role in the match.


"The weather can affect the match and even if we play under lights they won't be of much use in the fog," he said.


Pakistan will miss batsman Younis Khan, who pulled out of the Test following his brother's death on Saturday.


"Younis will be missed, but we have Asim Kamal who will be tried at number three and Hasan Raza might get another chance in place of Shahid Afridi," Inzamam said.


All-rounder Afridi was suspended for one Test and two one-day internationals for damaging the pitch during the second Test at Faisalabad.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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