"I hope to bowl in tandem with Akram"

Published: Wednesday, November 29, 2000, 0:00 [IST]
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Karachi: Pakistan's speed merchant Waqar Younis said on Sunday that he was keen to bowl with his long time pace-partner Wasim Akram again, saying the pairing was a great challenge for both of them."I look forward to bowl with Akram again because it was a great challenge bowling in tow with him," Younis said after he took 4-88 against England in the third Test. Akram did not play in the Test due to back trouble.

Younis and Akram formed a lethal new ball pairing and were dubbed the "two Ws" for their destructive fast bowling. The duo hit the headlines with their 43 wickets in the 1992 England series and helped Pakistan win 2-1, with Younis's share being 22 wickets."When you bowl with such a great bowler you tend to match him, if he gets two wickets I put in extra effort to take three and that made us a good duo," Younis, 29, said."I got a chance after a lay off so I had to prove my ability and that I have done to a great extent," he said. Younis tally of wickets now stands at 312 in 68 Tests after making his debut in Karachi against India in the 1989-90 series.

He was rated Pakistan's most successful bowler for the year 2000 with 33 wickets."I think I have enough cricket left in me and I am here for the next two to three years but there are no goals or records to break, let them come as they come," Younis, famous for his thunderbolts, said. With the emergence of a number of fast bowlers in Pakistani cricket, one notable being Shoaib Akhtar, Younis has had to fight hard for his place in the Pakistan team.

"I have to fight hard in the last few years and I have done that to earn my place," he said.Younis admitted he was hurt by being left out in the first two Tests against England. "Of course, it hurts but the team captain and coach set a plan and play with a team they like and we have been relying on spinners," he said."We have been either losing the home series or drawing them in the last few years because the spinners have not come up to the expectations," he said.

Younis also played for Surrey and Glamorgan for five years until 1997."I still have offers to play in the English season but now I want to play more and more for Pakistan," he said.

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