July 26th, 2006

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India to regain one-day form, says Harbhajan

Harbhajan_Singh

India will bounce back from the 4-1 One-day International (ODI) series defeat in the West Indies in May and win an overdue trophy in next month’s triangular series in Sri Lanka, leading off-spinner Harbhajan Singh forecast.

South Africa are the third team in the August 14-29 tournament.

Harbhajan said that before joining the conditioning camp that began in Bangalore on Tuesday India were fully capable of beating hosts Sri Lanka at home. “They know their conditions and know the total which can help them win. But having beaten them 6-1 in India last year, Sri Lanka obviously know we are a very different side now.”

Written by Team CricketViewer on July 26th, 2006 with no comments.
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Inclusion of Mushtaq remains a question to be answered

Mushtaq_Ahmed

With the second Test at Old Trafford just a day away, the suspense over the inclusion of googly maestro Mushtaq Ahmed in the Pakistan team is still not over.

The Pakistan cricket team coach Bob Woolmer doesn’t look very interested in recalling Mushtaq but is also not ready to close the chapter.

The Pakistan Team manager Zaheer Abbas, in contrast, continues to strongly support Mushtaq’s case saying that the experienced leg-spinner can actually boost Pakistan’s chances of winning the second Test.

Written by Team CricketViewer on July 26th, 2006 with no comments.
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Jayasuriya riddle puzzles Sri Lanka ahead of South Africa Tests

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Sri Lanka are in a dilemma over the role that former captain Sanath Jayasuriya will play when the two-Test series against South Africa starts on Thursday.

The depleted tourists, on the other hand, appear to have worked out the combination that will take the field at the Sinhalese sports club under their first black captain Ashwell Prince.

The contrasting mood in the rival camps is unexpected. The South Africans were the ones in trouble in the absence of three top stars in regular captain Graeme Smith and leading all-rounders Jacques Kallis and Shaun Pollock.

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Mushtaq termed as trump card for Pakistan by groundsman

Mushtaq_Ahmed

If Peter Marron was at the helm of Pakistan team selection for the second Test against England at Old Trafford, he would have picked veteran leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed in the playing line-up.

The head groundsman at Old Trafford believes that the wicket at this historic ground is going to support the spinners and bowler like Mushtaq, with his vast experience and skills, could play havoc against the home team in the Test getting underway from Thursday.

“I don’t know whether they have called that Sussex bowler (Mushtaq Ahmed) for this Test but I believe that he could really do well on this pitch,” Marron told this correspondent.

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Afridi expected to be fit before Test despite injury scare

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Pakistan suffered a fresh injury scare when all-rounder Shahid Afridi sustained a blow on his elbow while batting in the nets here at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

“The ball hit me high on my elbow. There is some swelling and it’s a bit painful,” Afridi told this correspondent before leaving the nets.

Afridi, a key member of the Pakistan line-up because of his twin role as a useful leg-spinner and a handy batsman, was going for a pull while batting in the nets when the ball hit him, leaving the player with a bruised and swollen elbow. He seemed in pain and got some extensive ice treatment before leaving the team practice halfway through.

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Shoaib advises Pakistan to overpower Flintoff-less England

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Injured paceman Shoaib Akhtar believes that Pakistan should go for the kill against an England squad that would be playing without their captain Andrew Flintoff for the rest of the summer.

Shoaib, who was in Manchester for a promotional event, said that Flintoff was England’s best player and his absence from the series should benefit Pakistan in a big way.

“Flintoff is a great player, a team man and now he is also (England) captain. All of that makes him very important for England,” he said. Flintoff was forced out of the series against Pakistan because of an ankle injury.

Written by Team CricketViewer on July 26th, 2006 with no comments.
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Sajid Mahmood gets to play against a side he idolised

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Medium-pacer Sajid Mahmood is relishing the chance of playing against a side that he idolised as a kid — Pakistan.

“I used to be a big fan of Pakistan till I was eight or nine and it would be really exciting to play against them in this Test match,” Sajid said here at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

A Briton of Pakistani descent Sajid would only get the chance to play in the second Test against Pakistan at Old Trafford because of the absence due to injury of England captain Andrew Flintoff and medium-pacer Liam Plunkett.

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Pakistan are on equal terms with England: Woolmer

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The Pakistan cricket team coach Bob Woolmer has rejected the impression that his team held the upper hand in the Test series against England after the hosts lost their skipper Andrew Flintoff for the rest of the series because of an ankle injury.

“We can’t look at individuals,” the Englishman said when asked whether Flintoff’s absence would boost his team’s chances to beat England this summer. “We have our own injury problems and just need to get on with the game,” said Woolmer while talking to reporters here at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Written by Team CricketViewer on July 26th, 2006 with no comments.
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England lost the edge after 2005 Ashes triumph: Waugh

Former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh says England have lost their edge after winning the Ashes last year. England, who face the Aussies again this winter, have won only two of 10 Tests since, losing 2-0 in Pakistan late last year before drawing 1-1 against India and Sri Lanka this year.
“There is no doubt they (England) have lost the momentum of the Ashes (2005). They should have won (the home Test series) against Sri Lanka 3-0,” Waugh said. “They lacked killer instinct, were very casual and fell back into some of their old bad habits.”

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