Karachi - If the ongoing Test series between England and Sri Lanka is anything to go by, Pakistan certainly have their task cut out. However, pace bowler Wahab Riaz remained quietly optimistic about his team’s chances.

Speaking to PakPassion.net, Riaz expressed hope that his team-mates can exploit the loopholes in England’s batting lineup. But, the 30-year old conceded that the new-ball pairing of James Anderson and Stuart Broad was among the best in the business.

Wahab asserted: “We have a good bowling line up with variety and there is a lot of potential to make the England batsmen work hard. But, the most important thing for our bowlers is to adjust to the bowling conditions in England and to get acclimatized as soon as possible. I believe the Pakistani bowlers will test the England batsmen.”

The left-armer maintained that the 'men in green' were up for the challenging tour which could test their resolve. He felt: “In home conditions, England are a very tough opponent. So, it's going to be a big challenge for us. We are going to have to play our top game to compete with England.”

The Lahore-born speedster heaped praises on rival skipper Alastair Cook’s steely determination by opining. “Cook is a tremendous batsman, he's one of the greats. He's a dedicated and committed cricketer. His wicket will be vital for us, the earlier we get him out the better for us and that will surely create pressure on the other England batsmen.”

When asked about the threat posed by his counterparts from England, Riaz affirmed: “Broad and Anderson are bowlers who are lethal in favorable conditions, especially when overhead conditions are cloudy and they know exactly how to bowl in such conditions.”

He added: “Our batsmen need to have their wits about them and concentrate fully against two such high-caliber bowlers. I think it will be a very interesting battle between Broad and Anderson and the Pakistani batsmen.”

Hailing the services of veterans Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan, Riaz wanted the inexperienced batsmen to step up. The passionate cricketer hoped, “I think it's vital that our batsmen prepare well ahead of the series. Our batsmen have the capability to put up some good scores on the board for the bowlers to work with.”

Wahab also threw his weight behind chief selector Inzamam-ul Haq’s concerted efforts to help the players prepare for the rigorous trip to England which includes 4 Tests, 5 ODIs and a solitary Twenty-20 international. “The ideas he's putting forward such as the two-week camp in England are excellent initiatives. I think great things will come from this decision by the PCB and the Board needs to back Inzamam's ideas all the way.”

Replying to a query regarding Pakistan team’s dismal performance in the World T20, Riaz said: “Naturally, we wanted to do well as it was a high profile tournament. Expectations are always high for Pakistan going into such tournaments and reaching the semi-finals was our minimum aim. The fact is that we didn't play as well as we could have and should have. Looking back, it's frustrating and we need to make sure that in the upcoming tours we perform a lot better than we did at the World Twenty20.”

About boot camp at Abbottabad, which he missed unfortunately, Riaz said: “I think it was a good idea to have the camp. You can never underestimate the importance of fitness in the modern game. I had to miss the camp as I had already signed for Essex but I'm also working hard with the Essex coaches and trainers here who have given me fitness plans and regimes that I am working on every day. I've never tried to sidestep fitness and have always taken my training seriously. I've always believed that if you are physically fit then that helps you perform better too.”

About new head coach Mickey Arthur, Riaz said: “He's a big name and comes into the role with a big reputation. He's been a very successful coach and is very experienced. Working with a new coach is always exciting and interesting as they all work in different ways and have different ideas and philosophies so it promises to be an exciting time. He was Head Coach of Karachi Kings at the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and I met him a few times during that tournament so I'm looking forward to working with him. I'm sure he will bring the best out of the players and will be a successful appointment.”