Pak to rely on spin in 2nd Test too

Published: Wednesday, November 29, 2000, 0:00 [IST]
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Faisalabad: Pace bowler Wasim Akram will make his 100th Test appearance in Faisalabad on Wednesday, but Pakistan will be looking to spin rather than speed to undermine England in the second Test.England held their own against the host nation's vaunted slow bowlers in the drawn first Test in Lahore but Pakistan still believe spin holds the key to taking the lead in the three-match series.Off-spinner Arshad Khan has been added to the squad and 19-year-old wrist spinner Danish Kaneria has been brought in to replace Mushtaq Ahmed who conceded 164 runs for just one wicket in the first Test.

Arshad may not play but Kaneria is expected to make his debut. He would bowl in tandem with off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq who picked up all the eight wickets in England's first innings 480 for eight declared in Lahore. Shahid Afridi will be on hand to lend support.Pakistan captain Moin Khan said he would be relying on his spinners to bowl out England twice. ''Players like Saqlain have the ability to do that. But we must a make respectable score to dictate terms.''Akram, Pakistan's former captain, said his 100th appearance would be ''like any other Test for me''. ''But if we can win it will be a wonderful gift for me.'' England will be making their first Test appearance in Faisalabad since the infamous finger-wagging tiff between then England captain Mike Gatting and Pakistan umpire Shakoor Rana in 1987.

A day's play was lost in the second test of the three-match series while Rana sought an apology from Gatting. Relations at all levels between the two countries were affected by the row and, although Pakistan toured England twice after that in 1992 and 1996, England stayed away from Pakistan for 13 years.Current England skipper Nasser Hussain is confident his batsmen will again equip themselves well against the Pakistani spin attack. ''We proved during the first Test that our batsmen can cope against the spinners. If we apply ourselves and play with as much concentration we can still put up a good show against them,'' he said.

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