Shoaib Akhtar, the Pakistan fast bowler, has said that he is delighted by Geoff Lawson's appointment as national coach, claiming only an Australian can help Pakistan beat the world's best team.
"I am excited that he is coming to Pakistan, it's thrilling. He can lift us to that level where we can become world beaters," said Shoaib. "I have always loved the Australian mentality. They only play to win and even if they lose they put up their best till the end. I am confident that Lawson will help us beat Australia because he will know their weaknesses and strong points."
Shoaib said that teams from the subcontinent, especially Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, have benefitted from being coached by Australians. Both teams had extended stints with Dav Whatmore.
"Australian thinking is different from the subcontinent," Shoaib said. "They acquire knowledge about minor things and work on them while subcontinental people think differently."
Shoaib was confident that Lawson's presence would help him and all the fast bowlers in the Pakistan line-up. "He is someone who believes fast bowlers can win matches and I will definitely be able to lift the level of my performance under him. Once the fast bowlers deliver the team will benefit.
"Even Steve Waugh and Mark Taylor benefitted from Lawson's help when they played alongside him in New South Wales, so he must have something which worked."
Looking ahead to the season, Shoaib said: "This current Pakistan team has a young captain in Shoaib Malik and it has worked extensively to be the fittest. The atmosphere is very good and we are gearing up for the challenges ahead."
Pakistan have a busy season ahead: they play the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in September in South Africa, then host South Africa for two Tests and five one-day internationals and tour India for three Tests and five one-day matches.
They also host world champions Australia in March and April next year, a series Shoaib is already looking forward to. "I can't wait for the Australian series. I want to play in at least one series win over Australia."