KARACHI (Reuters) - Former Pakistan leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed, who is now employed in a coaching role with England, has predicted a battle of spin between the two countries when they meet in an upcoming series.
Mushtaq has been working as a spin bowling consultant with England for last three years and was recently given a fresh two-year contract by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
He will join the England team in the United Arab Emirates on Jan. 4 as they prepare for a Test and one-day series against Pakistan in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
"England has been preparing hard for this series and I have tried to convince them that they must learn to depend on spin if they want to win in the Asian region," Ahmed told Reuters.
"I see this series as a big challenge for the English and Pakistani spinners and there is going to be tough competition between Swann (Graeme) and (Saeed) Ajmal, who are the best off-spinners in the business today.
"It will depend on what sort of pitches are prepared for the series but I sense they will give assistance to the slow bowlers. But Swann and Ajmal are bowlers of a quality who can trouble anyone, even on even tracks. Swann has been brilliant for England in the last two years." Ahmed, who played 52 Tests and 144 one-day internationals, said he enjoyed working with the English cricket set-up as they had a very disciplined system. "For me, coaching is a profession and my first job is to see in this series that the English spinners do well. Emotions become secondary when you are working as a professional," he said. The two sides play three tests and a one-day and Twenty20 series, which is taking place outside of Pakistan due to security concerns.