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|Pak bowlers will test India, says Imran|
Monday, January 26 2004 10:06 Hrs (IST)
"Pakistan has a balanced bowling attack which will test the Indian batting and for me, Shoaib holds the ace as he is the deadliest bowler in modern day cricket," Khan, a former Pakistani captain and all-rounder, told.
"Shoaib is the real match winner and with Mohammad Sami, Shabbir Ahmed and Umer Gul in back up, the home bowling will give (India) a tough time," said Khan, who is now a Member of Parliament in Pakistan.
"The way Shoaib swung the match at Wellington goes to prove his worth as the most destructive bowler and he can wreck any batting line up on any wicket," said Khan.
Akhtar, the fastest bowler in the world, finished with six for 30 off 18 overs in New Zealand's second innings in the second Test in Wellington late December to set up a famous win for Pakistan.
The revived three-match Test and five-game One-day series between India and Pakistan in March-April is eagerly anticipated. It will be the first time India has toured Pakistan for 14 years.
"India is on a high and their batting clicked in Australia, but you must consider the fact that Australia didn't have Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, while Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie struggled with fitness," said Khan, who led Pakistan when India last played a series in 1989-90.
And Khan refused to agree that India had dethroned Australia as the world's top Test team following the recent series between the two in Australia. India generally had the better of the series, although it ended up drawn at 1-1.
"Although their (Australia's) second line bowling attack was exposed by India, I still feel Australia is the top team in the world because their first class structure is very strong," he said.
Khan, under whom Pakistan won their only series in India in 1987-88, predicted an evenly contested forthcoming series.
"Indian bowling is okay but it's not lethal and if Pakistan's batting stands out it could be the decisive factor," said Khan, who claimed 362 wickets in 88 Test matches and 182 victims in 175 One-dayers for Pakistan.
'India's performance to put pressure on Pak'