Pakistan likely to bring young pacers for India series

September 28th, 2008 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib AkhtarNairobi, Sep 28 (IANS) The Pakistani cricket team, struggling with a depleted pace attack, can draft at least two young cricketers in their squad for next year’s home series against India, an official said.Pakistan’s bowling is looking blunt because of the unavailability of their top three pacers - Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul either because of disciplinary reasons or injury.

Pakistan Academy coach Aaquib Javed told IANS fast bowlers Anwar Ali and Mohammad Talha are ready for Test cricket and if needed, can get a look in for the home series against India starting early January.

India will be playing three Tests, five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 game during its tour of Pakistan.

“We have a few exceptional fast bowlers in the Pakistan Academy side and at least one of them - Anwar Ali - is now ready to play Test cricket,” said Aaquib, a former Pakistani fast bowler.

The Karachi-based Anwar has been the biggest success story for Pakistan Academy on its ongoing African safari, during which it won all its matches in Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Anwar is capable of swinging the ball, both old and new, at a decent pace. He shot to fame with a destructive display in the 2006 Under-19 World Cup final against India in Colombo, when his 5/35 guided Pakistan to a comfortable victory.

The youngster was selected for the Pakistan team’s training camp earlier this year and has since been knocking at the doors of Test cricket.

Aaquib said Pakistan now has the option of selecting youngsters like Anwar, whom he believes has the potential to win big games. “I’m really impressed with Anwar. He is getting faster and can swing the ball both ways effortlessly. He is Test material.”

Aaquib was also all praise for tall fast bowler Talha, who also had a successful African tour. “Its after a long time that in Talha, Pakistan has got a fast bowler with a natural yorker. He can beat the best of the batsmen with his yorker. He is also ready for Pakistan duty,” said Aaquib.

Pakistan manager Haroon Rasheed, a former Test batsman, believed all-rounder Fawad Alam is also ready for Test duty and can do well against the Indians. “Fawad is exceptionally talented and has matured immensely. He can play Test cricket anytime now,” said the manager.

Fawad, 22, has played 10 ODIs for Pakistan. He sparkled during the African safari with some superb knocks that included a triple hundred against Kenya in a four-day game in Mombasa last week.

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