Leg spinner Danish Kaneria says he is ready to take over as Pakistanâ€™s main strike bowler in England after their most potent weapon Shoaib Akhtar had to be dropped from the squad because of injury.
â€œI will try 101 percent to step into Shoaibâ€™s shoes and lead our attack (in England),â€ Kaneria said on Saturday ahead of Pakistanâ€™s tour of England to play four Tests and five one-day matches.
Kaneria is expected by many to play a major role in Pakistanâ€™s campaign in England following the absence of Shoaib, who has been ruled out of any international action for several weeks because of a stress fracture on his ankle.
The player, who has taken 156 wickets from 36 Test appearances, is seen as Pakistanâ€™s trump card by their captain Inzamam-ul-Haq in the Test series against England getting underway with the first match from July 13 at Lords.
Kaneria is confident that he will not disappoint Inzamam.
â€œI do not mind the pressure of being our main strike bowler. I will work hard and try to take wickets for my country and make my captain proud. I think my two years playing for Essex will be a great help to me, knowing how to bowl on English wickets,â€ he said.
Kaneria takes a lot of satisfaction in the recent performances of fellow spinners Shane Warne and Muthiah Muralitharan again England in recent times.
â€œWarney took 40 wickets against England in the Ashes last year and Murali spun them out at Nottingham a few days ago so it shows me that their batsmen are not too comfortable against the top-class spinners,â€ he explained.
Kaneria knows he is not yet in the same league as the two spin wizards but says he can follow in their footsteps. â€œMurali and Warney are easily the best two spinners that ever lived and I want to prove that I can also be as good as them even though I still have a lot to learn. They are much more experienced than I am, but I will try my best to make things difficult for England as they did,â€ he explained.
Kaneria said that England have several good batsmen and was looking forward to the battle he would be waging against them in the Test series.
Kaneria, 25, believes that the series would be a great contest and added that Pakistan are preparing hard for the assignment.
â€œIt will be a tough series for us because England are difficult opponents in their home conditions, but we have been playing very good cricket over the last couple of years and we are confident about what we can achieve. Each and every player wants to perform at the highest level and we are determined to win over there. It would be a great win for us,â€ he remarked.
The Karachi-born Kaneria is planning to take his wife and infant daughter along with him to England. â€œIâ€™ll be bringing my wife and daughter over for the first couple of weeks, so she will see me fulfill my lifelong dream of playing a Test match at Lords. I am just hoping it can coincide with a victory,â€ he wished.
Source:The NewsMore on:Danesh Kaneria, Pakistan, Pakistan in England 2006
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