Malik opts out, Misbah takes over as Pakistan captain

July 2nd, 2008 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, July 2 (IANS) Less than 24 hours after declaring himself fully fit, Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik opted out of his team’s must-win Asia Cup game against India here at the National Stadium Wednesday. Pakistan were forced to bring in young left-handed opener Nasir Jamshed in place of Malik in the playing eleven after the captain informed the team management that he was “too weak” to play the match.

A team official told IANS that Malik was hoping to fully recover from severe dehydration overnight but was still down with weakness in the morning.

The experienced allrounder had missed the team’s training session Tuesday evening but later arrived at the DHA Stadium with a drip on his arm. He later had a brief chat with the national selectors before announcing that he is fit to play against India.

Even the chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed publicly announced the playing eleven that included Malik in it.

With Malik out, Pakistan have asked batsman Misbah-ul-Haq to lead the team. It was not an unexpected move as Misbah knew he might have to fill in for Malik.

“I am ready for the captaincy and it will not put any extra pressure on me,” Misbah had told reporters Tuesday.

Off spinner Saeed Ajmal has been given his international debut while pacer Abdul Rauf comes in for Riaz Wahab.

The Indians made four changes to the line-up that thrashed Bangladesh in an earlier game. Virender Sehwag replaced Robin Uthappa at the top while Irfan Pathan recovered from his side strain to play his first match of the tournament and Praveen Kumar also made a comeback.

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