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Rediff.com  » Sports » Afridi likely for Kolkata Test

Afridi likely for Kolkata Test

Source: PTI
March 15, 2005 15:51 IST
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Pakistan, high on confidence after a valiant fight-back in the Mohali Test, would make two changes in the playing eleven with all-rounder Shahid Afridi likely to get a look in for the second Test against India beginning at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday.

"There will be two changes -- one in the top order and another in the bowling depatrment," skipper Inzamam-ul Haq said on Tuesday.

About the possible new face in top order batting line up, Inzamam said "Afridi and (Yasir) Hameed are in good condition."

He, however, ruled out dropping vice-captain Younis Khan, who failed to reach the double digit in both innings of the first Test.

The 35-year-old captain indicated changes in the top batting order in a bid to get a solid start to their innings.

About the bowling attack, he said "the team composition will be decided this evening. Then we will decide whether to go for three pacers or two spinners."

The Pakistan captain looked satisfied with the Eden track. "Its a good wicket for Tests and will help both the batsmen and the bowlers."

On the injury blues for his side, Inzamam said pacer Naved-ul-Hasan Rana was suffering from a shoulder injury.

Rana, who sustained a shoulder joint niggle while fielding in the Mohali Test, aggravated his injury while bowling at the nets on Monday.

Asked if Pakistan would opt for batting if it won the toss, the skipper said "it's too premature (to comment on this)".

Inzamam said his boys would draw inspiration from their gritty display on the fifth and final day of the first Test.

"Our boys are high on confidence after Mohali. We hope to get a better result in this Test," he said, but also drew a note of caution.

"But we should not get carried away by that performance. Its a new match here," he said.

Inzamam hailed the batting of wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal at Mohali and said "he has given more depth to our batting. He had earlier proved himself as a good 'keeper. Now he has proved himself as a good bat. It gives us more confidence. We can now have six batsmen plus one wicketkeeper-batsman in our side".

About Asim Kamal, who got runs in both the innings of the first Test, the captain said "he is capable of playing higher up the order. But in first class cricket also, he plays at fourth or fifth down position and scores so many runs."

Inzamam also had a good word for coach Bob Woolmer. "He's doing a fantastic job," he said.

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