Pak pacer Khalil wants to do a Pathan in Australia

Published: Monday, November 29, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Pakistan's uncapped pacer Mohammad Khalil hopes for a surprise maiden tour of Australia to equal that of Indian rising star Irfan Pathan who emerged as his country's key bowler last year.

"If Pathan can succeed on his first tour why can't I," said Khalil before the Pakistan team's departure late Sunday.

"I also have the example of Pakistani great Wasim Akram who surprised the world by taking 10 wickets in only his second Test on his first tour in New Zealand 20 years ago," Khalil said.

The 20-year-old Pathan made his Test debut in Australia last year where India squared a four-match Test series 1-1.

The 22-year-old pacer Khalil is one of the two uncapped players in Pakistan's 17-man team for three Tests in Australia and a tri-nation One-day tournament, also involving the West Indies.

The first Test starts in Perth from December 16.

Hailing from Lahore, Khalil like Pathan also bowls left arm.

Right-arm pacer Mohammad Asif, 21, is another newcomer in Pakistan. Both earned places in the national team with prolific wicket taking in domestic matches.

"Both are exciting, Asif looks a real good prospect and he swings the ball. Khalil is very accurate," Pakistan's English coach Bob Woolmer said.

Pakistan are also seeking former captain Wasim Akram's guidance for Khalil to help him get the inswing like Pathan, said Woolmer.

But Akram said he won't be available in Australia.

"I have seen him (Khalil) bowl in a match and he is good but since I have politely turned down an offer to do commentary in Australia I won't be there," he said.

Akram had passed useful tips to Pathan during India's last tour.

"My advice to all newcomers and experienced bowlers in Pakistan team is to bowl accurate because there is very little margin of errors against world class Australian batsmen," he added.

Pakistan open the tour with a warm-up One-day match followed by a four-day side game - both in Perth before the start of the Test series.

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