Inzamam hopes to continue winning ways

Published: Tuesday, November 9, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Captain Inzamam-ul Haq said he hopes to maintain Pakistan's winning momentum against arch rivals India as his team prepares for its first game across the border for five years.

The 15-member Pakistan squad will fly to India Wednesday afternoon for a one-off match in Calcutta at the weekend to mark the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

"We have won all three previous matches against India and (coach Bob) Woolmer has made a difference in our overall showing," Inzamam told AFP.

He also praised the players for executing the coach's plans.

Pakistan's last tour to India was in 1999 before political tensions halted fixtures between the two nations.

Earlier this year India toured Pakistan for the first tour since 1989, winning a one-day series 3-2 and the Tests 2-1.

But since Englishman Woolmer took over in June, Pakistan have beaten India by 59 runs in an Asia Cup match in Sri Lanka in July.

This was followed by a 66-run win at Amstelveen in Holland in August and a three-wicket victory in the ICC Trophy in England in September.

"Since losing to India on home grounds we have shown improvement but we still haven't achieved the desired results," said Inzamam, one of only four players in the line-up to have toured India in 1999.

"Wins in the last three matches have raised our confidence but a one-day match between India and Pakistan is always a new challenge for both the teams."

Inzamam said he has fully recovered from a back pain which forced him to sit out the last two days during his team's six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the second Test in Karachi last week.

Also back to full fitness are fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami, who both missed the Karachi Test.

"When you play before a crowd of over 100,000 at Eden Gardens it's real tough for the touring team," the Pakistani skipper said.

"But we will do our best to give an Eid gift to the nation by winning the match," he said, refering to the annual Muslim Eid festival which falls either on Sunday or Monday.

Pakistan has only one uncapped player in 32-year-old Aamir Basheer. He scored five hundreds at domestic level last season and four in the current season.

Woolmer will join the team in Calcutta after spending a week with his family in England.

Squad: Inzamam-ul Haq (captain), Yousuf Youhana (vice captain), Taufiq Umer, Imran Farhat, Salman Butt, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, Abdul Razzaq, Aamir Basheer, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Riaz Afridi, Rana Naveedul Hassan.

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