ICL: Indian Cricket League

Yousuf in, Afridi out for the second test match

Written by Kashif Aziz on April 3rd, 2006   (397 views)

Mohammad Yousuf has passed the fitness test and is likely to play in the 2nd test match agaist Sri Lanka, while Abdul Razzaq is a doubtful starter.

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer confirmed that Razzaq was doubtful to play the Test as he was struggling with a swollen knee that was causing him pain and not allowing him to move comfortably.

“We still have one more day to go and see how Razzaq recovers but at this moment he is doubtful. However, Mohammad Yousuf has been cleared of his hamstring strain to play in the Test,” he told reporters.

Yousuf missed the drawn first Test at the Sinhalese Cricket Club (SSC) due to his hamstring strain that he sustained while fielding in the final one-dayer and was advised seven days’ rest. “Yousuf did everything we asked him to do in the nets and he looks fine now.”

Woolmer hinted that there could be some changes in the team for the second Test pointing out that Faisal Iqbal had batted brilliantly in the first match and he deserved to play in Kandy.

“I think he deserves to play. So we may even look at a combination of six batsmen including Shoaib Malik as opener, four bowlers and wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal as a batting all-rounder. But we have not discussed this as yet and we will obviously try to pick the best combination for this Test,” he added.

If Pakistan does decide to go in with six specialist batsmen including Malik who scored a match saving hundred in the first Test and four bowlers, then all-rounder Shahid Afridi could also face the axe after his recent poor form with the bat although he bowled manfully in the drawn Test.

Woolmer, who supervised a long training session of the Pakistanis yesterday morning, described the pitch for the Test as still very damp and with a sprinkling of grass on it.

“But obviously if we don’t have more rains it will dry out quickly and they will roll it a lot. But we are keen to win the Test here and the series as we have won the previous two series in this country. The boys are keen to do well here.”

Source: The News

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