Yousuf ready to bounce back despite fitness issues

Published: Sunday, August 15, 2010, 11:50 [IST]
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Yousuf admits he lacks match-fitness

Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf has admitted that he lacks match-fitness ahead of next week's third Test against England at The Oval, but he is ready to bounce back and guide the youngsters.

Yousuf was unable to add to his overnight score of 40 at Worcestershire today as play was washed out on the second and final day of the warm-up match at New Road.

The 35-year-old told www.PakPassion.net that missing out on the chance to play himself into prime form had been a major blow.

"I would have wanted some valuable time in the middle today," he said. "To get some practice and also it would have boosted my match fitness.

"However it wasn't meant to be and there's nothing I can do about it."

"The fitness levels you maintain when playing first class cricket are entirely different to the levels of fitness you maintain when playing a few local club matches as I was in Lahore before arriving in England.

"If I'm being honest, I am not entirely Test match-fit, but I will utilize my experience as my country needs me."

Yousuf was recalled to the Pakistan squad ahead of the second Test at Edgbaston, but visa issues meant he only arrived just in time for the game and he had to sit out of the playing XI for the second Test.

His presence in the team can be a big morale booster for the young Pakistan batting line-up as the young batting line up have failed miserably in the opening two encounters recording record low totals against England of 80 and 72.

But the veteran admits any hopes of an improvement may rest on the condition of the pitch at The Oval.

He said: "I'll do my best and will help and guide the younger players, let's see what the track is like at the Oval and I hope that we can bounce back and get back into the series."


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