Akram banking on spin trick of Kaneria, Arshad

Published: Sunday, February 20, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Legendary left-arm seamer Wasim Akram is pinning his hopes on the "exciting" Pakistani spin duo of Danish Kaneria and Arshad Khan to trouble the prolific Indian batsmen in the forthcoming cricket series.

Akram said the two spinners would play an important role in ensuring Pakistan "stay in all five days" of the three Test matches that the two teams are slated to play.

"It is an exciting spin combination. To stay in all five days of a Test in India, you need spinners who can take wickets and contain the batsmen. I think this combination has the class and variety to do that," Akram said in the port city of Karachi where he had come for a commercial shoot.

Akram was the last captain to lead Pakistan in a Test series in India when his side played three matches in 1999. Skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, Yousuf Youhana and Shahid Afridi are the only surviving members from that tour on which Pakistan won at Chennai and Kolkata while losing at New Delhi, thanks to a perfect 10 by Anil Kumble.

The 34-year-old Arshad Khan was on Saturday recalled to the Pakistan team after nearly five years in wilderness. He last played his eighth Test against England in November 2000. Danish Kaneria, a wrist spinner, has played 23 Tests in which he has bagged little over 100 wickets.

"Kaneria is probably the most improved spinner in the world whereas I am pleased with the return of Arshad Khan. I am sure the lanky pathan must have matured since he last played nearly four years ago," the former captain said.

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