"I’m delighted with the news that I have been named in the squad. It gives me an opportunity to win back my lost place. I think in 20 months, I have lost a lot of ground and it will require my best performance to get back in the team. It’s nice to get a comeback game against India because my last best international performance was also against them. But it is not going to be easy this time because India is a very strong batting lineup but I think I am bowling well.”Nothing too outrageous about any of the above pre-series talk, but to make up for the lack of unreasonableness there, Waqar Younus who talked to Samiul Hasan of the Rediff website here took a mindless sweep at the Indian batting line up:
"The Indians have their grey areas. They depend heavily on their strong batting but even then collapse like a pack of cards. They are devastating and poor at times."I'm not even going to bother to try and prove him wrong, but the Pakistani team could really do without this sort of 'encouragement', in fact it has all the potential to act as more of an encouragement to the Indian batsmen rather then our bowlers! But the real bad news is that Abdul Razzaq is really sick. According to Express he's been admitted to hospital twice in the space of the last three days, and it is some form of chest infection that's the cause. He tells the BBC here that it's now a race against time for him to be alright for the series.
Warm up games are forgotten quickly if a team does well later on in the actual matches (how many people, for instance remember that India last time lost to a Pakistan A side in a one-day warm up game defending 350 odd runs?). But they do get remembered if the team does badly later on (like I remember that Pakistan lost to Western Australia first and second XI before losing the Perth test and the series by a plenty in 2004). It also gives these fringe players a fantastic opportunity to play against quality opposition. I'm wondering though, what Imran Farhat has done to get the nod ahead of the in-form Yasir Hameed. The full team is as follows:
1 Hasan Raza (capt), 2 Imran Farhat, 3 Mohammad Wasim, 4 Faisal Iqbal, 5 Asim Kamal, 6 Bazid Khan, 7 Zulqarnain Haider, 8 Mansoor Amjad, 9 Mohammad Irshad, 10 Umar Gul, 11 Iftikhar Anjum, 12 Yasir Arafat.The mood is also pretty confident in the Indian camp. Sehwag told reporters after India's win at Ahmedabad that Inzi's request for hard and bouncy wickets could backfire. Sachin, who is practicing against high-speed balls using a bowling machine, expressed similar sentiments. There was a bit of confusion though earlier about who would and wouldn't play in the Ranji Trophy matches scheduled for before India's departure for Islamabad.
Sourav Ganguly first made him self unavailable to play for Bengal, which prompted quite a reaction from Kiran More. He wasn't impressed and ask the board to inquire the reasons for Ganguly's withdrawal. First the board said they could do nothing, then they took a u-turn and asked the Bengal Cricket Association to send him a letter. They did so and Ganguly also replied. It has now been revealed he had 'personal reasons' behind his decision. To find out more, check out one or more of these 139 related stories.
Finally, the The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has thought about asking the ICC to replace Darrell Hair. Although an 'official request' is yet to be send, I'm 100% certain, judging by the response of the ICC spokesperson, that even if it was, it would get a clear no-no as answer. And now, ladies and gents, I'm going to go off to doze. Good thing unlike school and college, tomorrow's adventure doesn't require me to wake up right at dawn. I'm not particularly good at that. I'll blog again on Monday. Until then, ta-ta.
Cross posted on Sundries
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