Veteran spinner Mushtaq Ahmed might get a call to play for Pakistan against England this summer if medium pacer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan is forced out of the forthcoming series due to a groin injury.
The Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has been pushing for Mushtaqâ€™s inclusion in the national squad all along and now that Rana has joined Shoaib Akhtar on the injury list, the googly specialist might finally make a comeback after being out of the playing eleven since the fall of 2003.
â€œMushtaq can strengthen our bowling attack in the absence of Shoaib and Rana,â€ said Inzamam when asked on the logic behind bringing back the aging Mushtaq, who last played for Pakistan in a home series against South Africa almost three years back.
Inzamam believes that Pakistan need more wicket-taking bowlers like Mushtaq to succeed on the tour of England.
â€œWe can run into problems against England as far as our bowling is concerned if we play without Shoaib and Rana,â€ he said. â€œMushtaq has been showing good form in county cricket recently and can be asked to join the team,â€ added Inzamam.
Mushtaq, who turns 36 later this month, has taken 185 wickets in 52 Tests. He was included in the Pakistan squad for the home series against England last year but with Shoaib Akhtar and spinner Danish Kaneria delivering the goods in a 2-0 triumph, his services were not required in any of the matches.
Kaneria is the only specialist spinner Pakistan have inducted in their 16-man squad for the tour of England with ample support expected to come from all-rounders Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi.
Though Inzamam is backing Mushtaqâ€™s case, it remains to be seen whether the legspinner would earn a recall. Apparently, Inzamam doesnâ€™t have a lot of support on this issue.
Chief selector Wasim Bari was completely non-committal on the possibility of Mushtaqâ€™s inclusion in the national team as a replacement for the injured Rana.
â€œWe thoroughly discussed Mushtaq with the captain and coach (Bob Woolmer) while selecting the squad earlier this month,â€ said Bari.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Saturday, June 17th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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