Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Pak hopes to draw inspiration from tour opener

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 18:30 [IST]
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Karachi:Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq said his team was ready to exploit India's weak bowling to take his side to a stunning victory in the opening of historic series between the South Asian rivals.

Inzamam told a news conference on Friday ahead of the two team's first encounter for 14 years on Saturday that he hoped to follow up on the success of the Pakistan 'A' side who humbled India with a six-wicket victory in a practice match.

"We would definitely take inspiration from the performance of our youngsters and would definitely exploit their weak bowling attack, but you can't judge them from just one match," he said.

"We have worked on their weak points but that does not mean we would take them lightly."

The restive Southern port of Karachi, hosting its first high profile match for three years, is under tight security for the match. Last year South Africa and New Zealand refused to play in the city due to security fears.

Some 5,500 policemen and 1,500 paramilitaries have been deployed in the city to provide security for the Indian team led by Sourav Ganguly.

"I can't say anything on security, whether they would be suffocated by the extra security but I can talk only about what would happen on the field," said Inzamam, whose side routed Bangladesh and New Zealand but lost to South Africa in home One-day series last year.

Both India and Pakistan have strong batting line ups, while the home team is pinning hopes on fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

"We know Shoaib is our spearhead but we need to put score on the board to give him a chance," said the Pakistan captain.

Ganguly had stated on arrival in Lahore that his team would derail the "Rawalpindi Express" -- Shoaib's nickname -- but Inzamam was adamant his bowling star would remain intact.

"We expect him to do well for us," the Pakistani captain retorted.

Inzamam said his side has been scrutinising star Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar, a crucial element in the Indian batting line up.

"We have done a lot of work on his weaknesses and have told the bowlers to exploit them."

Tendulkar, regarded as doyen of modern day batsmen, made his Test debut at Karachi as a 16-year-old when Indian last toured Pakistan in 1989-90 season.

Pakistan is likely to enter with regular openers Imran Farhat and Yasir Hameed and will give impressive allrounder Rana Naveedul Hassan a chance in place of injured Shabbir Ahmed.

Teams (from): Inzamam-ul Haq (capt), Yousuf Youhana (vice capt), Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, Misbahul Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Moin Khan, Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Shoaib Akhtar, Shabbir Ahmed, Rana Naveedul Hassan, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mohammad Sami, Rao Iftikhar

India: Sourav Ganguly (capt), Rahul Dravid (vice capt), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Venkatsai Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Hemang Badani, Zaheer Khan, Laxmipathy Balaji, Irfan Pathan, Murali Kartik, Parthiv Patil, Ashish Nehra, Ramesh Power

Umpires: Simon Taufel (AUS), Nadeem Ghauri (PAK)

Tv umpire: Asad Rauf (PAK)

ICC match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)

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