Pakistan bowling attack overrated: Collingwood
London: England batsman Paul Collingwood believes the Pakistan bowling attack that helped end Australia`s seven-match winning streak has a lot to do to prove it is the best in the world.
Pakistan beat Australia in a Test for the first time in 15 years, at Headingley on Saturday, to draw the series 1-1.
Captain Salman Butt lauded his pace bowling trio of Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul and Mohammad Asif, who he claimed was the best new-ball bowler he had seen since Australia`s Glenn McGrath.
Australia skipper Ricky Ponting, whose team were bowled out for a 26-year low of 88 at Headingley, also praised the pace bowlers who claimed a collective 30 wickets in two Tests, and he called leg-spinner Danish Kaneria "world-class".
But Collingwood said Australia`s bowlers were the world`s best as he played down the hype ahead of England`s four-Test series with Pakistan starting at Trent Bridge on Thursday.
"I think they (Pakistan`s bowlers) have got a lot of talent but to say they are the number one pace attack in the world is probably over the mark," he told reporters at England`s training base at Loughborough University on Tuesday.
"They have played in conditions recently where it (the ball) has done a fair bit. Australia for me are still a very, very strong bowling attack," he added.
"They have got a lot of pace there and I guess if they had have got those same conditions on the first day they would have caused a lot of problems."
"They have got skill and we need to be careful but I think we can handle whatever they throw at us."
"When India came over (in 2007) and used the Dukes ball they probably surprised us at that time with the amount of swing they were getting, so they (Pakistan) are going to pose similar questions. Hopefully, we are better prepared this time round."
"We don`t want to go overboard that these guys are the best thing since sliced bread, or Wasim Akram. We have seen that they have got a lot of skill but if we can get through those periods where it can be really tricky, we can get on top of them."
They are the kind of words that will either come back to haunt Collingwood or show him to be a perceptive voice.
Pundits were won over by Pakistan`s attack, and 18-year-old left-arm paceman Aamer especially, that exploited overcast conditions weighted heavily in their favour.
Psychologically, Collingwood might have raised the confidence levels of the Australians ahead of the five-match Ashes series from Nov. 25 while also giving Pakistan greater motivation to prove him wrong.
The Australian attack struggled in both Tests against pakistan as Mitchell Johnson failed to rediscover his best rhythm for his second successive tour of England.
Australia`s left-arm pace bowler Doug Bollinger was also castigated by former England bowler Bob Willis who he said "doesn`t look like a Test bowler to me".
However, seam and swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus was on impressive form as he returned to Test cricket for the first time in nine months after recovering from a knee injury.