ICL: Indian Cricket League

Men to watch for: Yousuf and Kumble


ykumbleThe individual performances of two men ñ Mohammad Yousuf and Anil Kumble — may well decide the eventual outcome of the opening Test between Pakistan and India here at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

They are the men to watch out for in the Test starting from today. Mohammad Yousuf scored a record 1788 runs in 2006 — surpassing West Indies’ Vivian Richards’s record of most Test runs in a calendar years with the help of nine centuries. He remains in top form and is expected to frustrate the Indian bowlers in this Test series.

Indian captain Anil Kumble agreed that Yousuf will be a key player for Pakistan. “He (Yousuf) is a great player. He has been the most prolific scorer for Pakistan in the last few years,” he said.

Yousuf was in fine flow in the One-day International (ODI) series and is expected to raise his game in the Test series. Another man who will play a key role for the visitors will be pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar. Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik has described him as his ‘trump card’. The fact that pace is what troubles the top Indian batsmen most is the biggest reason why Malik is pinning his hoped in the tearaway pacer.

For India, the man to watch would be their new captain. When the last time Kumble bowled against Pakistan at Kotla, he took ten wickets to shepherd India to victory. He may not be able to repeat that showing, but the 37-year-old Kumble is all set to play an important role in the outcome of the opening Test.

Kumble is the highest wicket-taker at Kotla with 48 scalps from five Tests. He is also the leading Indian wicket-taker against Pakistan with 63 from 12. For Pakistan Danish Kaneria has taken the highest wickets (31) against India. Shoaib Akhtar has taken 19 while Mohammad Sami has taken 16 wickets against the Indians.

Pakistan and India have played each other on four occasions at Kotla and the Pakistanis are yet to win at this venue. India have won twice while the other two Tests were drawn. India will be without their best batting performer against Pakistan, Virender Sehwag who has scored 1276 runs against Pakistan in 9 Tests at 91.14. Pakistan’s leading run-getter against India is Mohammad Yousuf with 1118 runs from 12 Tests at 52.23.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Thursday, November 22nd, 2007 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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