Salahuddin says balance has swung in India~~s favour

Published: Saturday, February 19, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Former Test off-spinner and ex-chairman of Pakistan selectors Salahuddin Ahmed has said Pakistan's sole advantage over India was in the fast bowling department and that also stood neutralised following Shoaib Akhtar's pull-out from the tour.

Salahuddin, who has served as a national selector for a record nine times, said the balance of the series was now heavily in favour of India.

"Pakistan's only strength was its fast bowling which has now been neutralised with the withdrawal of Shoaib Akhtar," he said in an interview.

"Mohammad Sami is an over-rated fast bowler while Rana Naved-ul-Hasan is an improved pacer. But both are not in the same class as Irfan Pathan or Zaheer Khan," he said.

Shoaib cited a hamstring problem for his withdrawal from the India-bound team less than 24 hours after he was fined and reprimanded on disciplinary grounds.

Salahuddin, whose elder sister Mohsina Kidwai is a member of Upper House and uncle Akhlaq-ur-Rehman is the Governor of Haryana, was of the view that Irfan Pathan would prove to be a dangerous bowler during the series.

"He becomes extremely difficult when he bowls round the wicket because the batsmen struggle to pick his line. Like Wasim Akram, he has learnt the art of bringing the ball inside from round the wicket rather than swinging the ball away like other left-armers."

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