Younis, Malik and Asif remain uncertain for Old Trafford Test
Pakistan went into the opening Test here at Lord’s without three of their key players and it remains uncertain whether the injured trio would be fit in time for the second match at Old Trafford later this month.
A Pakistan team official told this correspondent on Thursday that middle-order batsman Younis Khan, all-rounder Shoaib Malik and medium pacer Mohammad Asif were left out of the playing eleven at the last minute because of fitness problems.
Team manager Zaheer Abbas said the management was hoping to field vice-captain Younis Khan in the opening Test but the batsman still complained of a painful knee and it was decided to replace him with talented middle-order batter Faisal Iqbal.
ìYounis has been getting treatment for his knee problem for the last few days and we were all hoping he would be fit to play at Lordís. But unfortunately, he was still in pain last night and we had no choice but to leave him out,î said Zaheer.
He added Younis has torn a ligament under his knee would continue to get treatment for the injury. He added that it was still too early to say that whether the prolific run-getter would get fit in time for the second Test scheduled to get underway from July 27.
ìSuch injuries can be a bit tricky,î said Zaheer. ìBut we are all hoping that Younis would be fine before the second Test.î
The former Pakistan Test star said Shoaib Malik is also struggling to recover from an elbow problem in time for the Old Trafford outing.
Shoaib, who scored a superb century in a warm-up game earlier this month, has been batting in the nets but was left out because he is having problems in throwing the ball.
Zaheer informed that he has talked to Malik about his injury, adding that the bowler is not sure how long will it take for him to get match fit.
However, Asif, ruled out of the opening Test because of a tennis elbow, is hopeful of passing a fitness test before the teamís departure to Manchester.
Zaheer stated that Asif has been recovering fast and has a good chance of becoming available for selection for the second Test.
Source:The NewsMore on:Mohammad Asif, Pakistan, Pakistan in England 2006, Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan
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