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|Waqar, Saqlain, Afridi may be recalled|
Saturday, January 24 2004 20:40 Hrs (IST)
Also in contention for a recall to the national side is wicketkeeper-batsman Rashid Latif as the selectors headed by former Test captain Wasim Bari sit down to finalise a pool of 40 players in the first phase of the selection process.
Bari had spoken to his fellow selectors Iqbal Qasim, Ehteshamuddin and Sultan Rana and also the Pakistan captain and coach and exchanged views with them on the selection process for the series.
"I can say for sure at this stage that we will be having the preliminary selection process with an open mind and seniors like Waqar Younis, Rashid Latif, Saqlain Mushtaq and Shahid Afridi are definitely under consideration for the India series," Bari was quoted as saying in The News.
Bari, who played 87 Tests for Pakistan and was earlier chief selector between 1999 and 2003, said he wanted to basically adopt a horses for courses policy for the Indian series.
"We will pick the best possible combination and everyone would be considered who makes it to the pool of 40. The seniors should not worry that they will not get a fair chance. Our job is to select the best possible combinations and players," he said.
Bari also said even someone like Bazid Khan who has scored lot of runs in the Patrons Trophy was on the selectors shortlist.
"I think he has been far more consistent this season and has matured as a batsman. He is one we want to have a close look at. I would be going to the Patrons Trophy one-day final and will see how the players perform," Bari said.
Bari felt the rebuilding process of the Pakistan team was now over and it was time to find settled combinations and prepare a shortlist of players including strong and experienced reserve players.
"We have done well in the Test matches but in the One-dayers I think our performances have not been consistent because of two basic problems -- the fielding and extras conceded."
"I think you just require to work hard on these two aspects to gain more consistent results in One-dayers also. I have spoken on this to the captain and coach."
Bari said he did not believe the team did badly in the One-dayers in New Zealand.
"I thought they played well except for one match. But yes Muhammad Sami struggled because he is an attacking bowler in the mould of Waqar Younis and he had some fitness problems."
Barid said Pakistan needed to scout out batsmen who could also bowl in the One-dayers as playing with just five bowlers was not good enough.
"And we also need to strengthen our bowling attack for the Indian series to counter their strong batting line-up."
Inzamam retained as captain for coming year