Malik: 'Akhtar the key'

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

    "Your the key": Shoaib Malik talks to Shoaib Akhtar
    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


     How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    Ninety-nine years since Balfour's "promise", Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    In the rundown Pedion Areos Park, older men walk slowly by young asylum seekers before agreeing on a price for sex.

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    The story of a most-wanted fugitive and billionaire.