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Inzy: "Australia still favourites"
Pakistan captain Inzamam ul-Haq still believes Australia are the team to beat.
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2007 15:35 GMT

Pakistan's Inzamam ul Haq prays with teammates [GALLO/GETTY]

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq Saturday said Australia were still the World Cup favourites despite their recent slump in form.

Australia have lost their last five one-day matches and suffered the loss of strike bowler Brett Lee on Friday when he was ruled out with an ankle injury.
"Australia may have lost a few matches but for me they still are the World Cup favourites," Inzamam told reporters from a training camp for next month's tournament in the Caribbean.

However, he said the defending champions' recent poor form will have given other teams hope.
"Australia have been winning for the last 10 years or so and they are a very consistent side but their recent defeats have given more chances to other teams," said the 36 year old.
  
Preparing for his fifth World Cup Inzamam, said he hoped the issues over strike bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif would be resolved.
  
The two are both nursing injuries and are the only squad members not to undergo compulsory in-house dope tests, which they failed last year.
  
"It would have been better to have a full squad confirmed rather than having fitness worries because it doesn't allow you to plan.
  
"But I am not thinking negatively. Akhtar and Asif are our main players and I hope they not only overcome their injuries but reports of their tests also come in our favour," said Inzamam.
  
Eleven of the 15-man Pakistan squad, five reserves and two extra players have passed dope tests while results for Inzamam and all-rounder Shahid Afridi are expected in the next couple of days.
  
No date has yet been set for tests on Akhtar and Asif.
Source:
Agencies
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