ICL: Indian Cricket League

Inclusion of Mushtaq remains a question to be answered



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.

The media, in the meantime, continued to play the guessing game although the fact that Mushtaq was still not in the nets with his former teammates on Tuesday together with Woolmer’s lack of interest makes it increasingly unlikely that he would play at Old Trafford.

“If you look at the recent Old Trafford record, you will see that spinners have not been very successful here,” Woolmer said on Tuesday when asked about Mushtaq’s possible comeback.

“A spinner hasn’t taken five wickets in an innings here in a long time so you can well imagine how supportive the pitch here is for slow bowlers,” he remarked.

But Woolmer remained non-committal on whether Pakistan would go for a spin-oriented bowling attack here. “You will find it on Thursday morning,” he said.

A shrewd schemer, Woolmer likes to keep the opposition guessing and in Mushtaq’s case, he is doing it quite easily. He has Danish Kaneria as the team’s spin spearhead apart from having the services of Shahid Afridi’s leg spin bowling. But with Pakistanís pacers unable to take many wickets, the debate on recalling Mushtaq continues within the Pakistani camp.

“Our bowlers have been hit for five hundred or more runs on a few occasions in this series by England as well as by England A. It is pretty obvious that something is wrong with our bowling attack,” said Zaheer.

The former Test star added: “To win a Test, you have to take 20 wickets. I believe that on this pitch, we can do that with Mushtaq in the side,” he said.

Zaheer said that currently Pakistan are only able to attack from one end through Kaneria and need somebody like Mushtaq to bowl England out twice at Old Trafford.

Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 26th, 2006 and is filed under General.

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