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ISLAMABAD: Former Test fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz feels Pakistan cricketers should focus on their physical fitness for next month’s tour to Sri Lanka to cope with tough weather conditions in the island country.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday announced the Test and ODI squads for the Sri Lankan tour. Both the 15-member squads were picked by the selection committee headed by Moin Khan. Pakistan will play two Tests and three ODIs in Sri Lanka.

Sarfraz noted Sri Lankan weather in August would be very hot. Therefore, he emphasised, the players should concentrate to improve their physical fitness. “Players especially pacers including young pacer Mohammad Talha and others should improve their physical fitness in order to cope with the demanding weather conditions during the Sri Lanka tour,” he said.

Sarfraz also hailed the selectors’ decision to include Younis Khan in the ODI squad for the Sri Lanka series, saying Younis’s experience would prove significant in the three-match ODI series against the Islanders.

“Younis is a very senior player with regard to experience and talent. Therefore his inclusion in the ODI squad will surely give Pakistan an edge against the Islanders,” Sarfraz stated of Younis who made his international debut against Sri Lanka in an ODI in the year 2000.

Sarfraz reckoned Sri Lankans would give Pakistan tough competition on their home soil. “Pakistan will have to work hard if they want to tackle the strong Sri Lankan side,” he expressed.

While praising Saeed Ajmal, Sarfraz said the ace off-spinner would definably trouble the Sri Lankan batsmen. “Saeed’s bowling will be the difference in the series,” he predicted.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2014