Malik: 'Akhtar the key'

Pakistan captain believes controversial pace bowler holds the key against India.

    "Your the key": Shoaib Malik talks to Shoaib Akhtar
    [GALLO/GETTY]
    Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik believes controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is the key player for the three-test series against India.

    The 32 year old has not played a test match since he limped out of the second test in South Africa in January due to a knee injury.

    He was included for the India tour after ending a 13-match ban for striking fellow paceman Mohammad Asif, now out injured, with a bat before the Twenty20 World Cup in September.

    "If Pakistan wins, Shoaib would have played a vital role," Malik said.

    "His fitness level is very good. He has played in four (one-day) matches and never gave the impression he did not bowl fast or give his everything."

    Akhtar looked sharp in patches during Pakistan's 3-2 one-day series loss, taking seven wickets in four games.

    "I think he was in full rhythm, he was consistently bowling at 150 kph but sometimes he bowled off shorter run-ups because I asked him to hurry up," Malik said.

    The visitors suffered a blow prior to the start of the series after talented paceman Umar Gul broke down with a back injury, leaving Akhtar to share the new ball with the inconsistent Mohammad Sami, who also last played a test on the South Africa tour, and young left-armer Sohail Tanvir.

    Malik said he hoped his team would have gained much from winning the inconsequential last one-dayer on Sunday.

    "No team has any edge," he said.

    "We lost the one-day series, but the way we played in the last match was heartening."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    As the oil-rich country fails to pay its debt, we examine what happens next and what it means for its people.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.