ICL: Indian Cricket League

Woolmer happy at openers return to form



Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer is pleased with the return to form of his under-fire openers Salman Butt and Imran Farhat and hinted on Saturday that the duo might open again for the visitors in the second Test against England at Old Trafford next week.

Butt and Imran failed in the opening Test at Lord’s and again in the Pakistanis’ first innings in the three-day game against Northamptonshire, a poor run that led to the impression that at least one of them would be dropped for the second Test to make way for another left-handed opener Taufeeq Umar.

But Woolmer said that he was pleased with the way Butt and Imran played in the second innings and added that he would like to give the pair another chance at Old Trafford. Butt cracked 84 while Imran scored 64 in the Pakistanis’ seven-wicket win over the Northants.

Woolmer said that the team management had made it clear to the two openers to get their act together if they wanted to retain their places in the playing line-up.

Woolmer is confident that Butt and Imran would bring a big improvement in their performance at Old Trafford.

“These two are very capable players and I believe that the reason why they couldn’t score at Lord’s was they became a bit nervous. I expect them to do much better in the next Test.”

Though Woolmer has thrown his weight behind Butt and Imran, not everybody in the Pakistani camp agrees that they should open again at Manchester.

According to sources within the Pakistani camp, it would only be decided after a series of team meetings as to which players would open for Pakistan in the second Test.

Taufeeq Umar, who flew in here last week as a replacement of the injured Shoaib Malik, has some support and remains in contention to play at Old Trafford.

Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Monday, July 24th, 2006 and is filed under General.

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