UAE coach Aaqib Javed believes adjusting to conditions in the UK will be his side’s biggest challenge ahead of their departure on Friday for the first-round Intercontinental Cup clash against Ireland.
The sides meet in Malahide in the four-day match from June 2-5 in the ICC’s premier first-class tournament.
While some of the players will experience UK conditions for the first time, Javed insists their daily training sessions and the three-day friendly game against Scotland (May 26-28) will give them enough time to adjust to the conditions.
“We have used fresh pitches and tried to pick the best conditions suitable in UK conditions during our training sessions,” he said.
“It’s not possible to play in these conditions all the time. Yet, we have got a couple of days to settle down before the Ireland game. I think we will be all right.”
— UAE Cricket Official (@EmiratesCricket) May 18, 2015
Among the 14-man squad are uncapped Asif Iqbal and veteran Saqib Ali. And Javed is impressed by what he saw of the pair.
“Asif is good and he has been very consistent and done well in the two-day Danube Test,” he said. “Saqib Ali is very good in the longer format.”
The UAE’s last four-day encounter came in September 2013 with a 158-run win over Namibia, and the ex-Pakistan spinner believes it will not be easy for his players to change their mentality from the shorter to longer format.
He said: “Four-day cricket is all about patience and concentration. It’s not easy for batsmen to shift their mindset from T20 to four-day cricket, but that is what we’ve been trying to achieve.”
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