Inzamam wary of Lara-led Windies backlash

Published: Friday, November 17, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq believes his counterpart Brian Lara has the charisma and batting form to inspire West Indies to a series-levelling win in the second Test in Multan from Sunday.

Lara struck 61 and 122, his 33rd hundred, in the first Test in Lahore but West Indies were outclassed by Pakistan's second string attack of Umar Gul and Shahid Nazir who took 15 wickets in the match.

West Indies lost by nine wickets for the 16th defeat in their last 23 Tests.

''They have been performing well in One-day cricket,'' Inzamam said. ''They have shown they have the resources to compete evenly against any team. It is a matter of time before they click at Test level.'' Inzamam, who will be playing in front of his home crowd, is also struggling for form having scored a duck in the first Test and making just 107 runs in his last four Tests.

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, however, said that he was not concerned with Inzamam's batting slump.

''He is working hard and he knows what is to be done. There is no pressure on him, we know he will get it back soon,'' he said.

Pakistan are without fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif for the series after they were banned following positive Tests for the steroid nandrolone. Shoaib and Asif have appealed against the bans of two years and one year respectively.

But Woolmer said he was confident in the team's resources and the series against the West Indies would help prepare the younger bowlers for the tour of South Africa from early January.

''Pakistan has lot of depth in its bowling resources but experience is also a key element for success. Hopefully the guys who have now got the opportunity to play will grab their chances and keep on improving,'' he said.

''They need to maintain this habit of bowling in the right channels on a tight line and with discipline. In South Africa it will serve them well.''


Pakistan (from): Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, Abdul Razzaq, Faisal Iqbal, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Umar Gul, Shahid Nazir, Samiullah Niazi, Danish Kaneria, Abdul Rehman, Yasir Hameed.

West Indies (from): Brian Lara, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Daren Ganga, Denesh Ramdin, Omari Banks, Daren Powell, Lendl Simmons, Runako Morton, Corey Collymore, Fidel Edwards, Jerome Taylor, Dwayne Bravo, Dave Mohammed.


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