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

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months