Pakistan will miss Shoaib badly, says Rhodes

Published: Saturday, February 19, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Ahmedabad:Pakistan will badly miss the pace and fieriness of Shoaib Akhtar during their forthcoming India tour, which is expected to be an "explosive" one, according to South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes.

"Shoaib is definitely Pakistan's main strike bowler, who with his sheer pace and reverse swing can turn any match around," Rhodes, who is in the city on Saturday to promote tourism as Conservation Corporation Africa's brand ambassador, said.

"Even on Indian pitches, which do not offer much help to pace bowlers, Shoaib would have been lethal, bowling reverse swing at a speed of 160 kms per hour," he said.

It is sad Shoaib will not be playing in India, and Pakistan will definitely miss him as Indians would do if Sachin was not playing, Rhodes said.

"As any Indo-Pak encounter, the forthcoming tour will be an explosive one," he said adding, "for me, Indians with their batting depth and consistency will start off as favourites for the forthcoming India-Pakistan encounter," where Pakistan is slated to play three Test matches and six One-dayers.

"However, Pakistanis have the advantage of playing in Australia as a team," Rhodes claimed adding, "any team which has just finished playing Australia, raises their level."

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