Younis blow for Pakistan ahead of India one-dayers
by AFP

Ground:Nehru Stadium, Kochi
Scorecard:India v Pakistan
Player:Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan
Event:Pakistan in India 2004/05

DateLine: 1st April 2005


Pakistan suffered a setback before the opening one-day international against India when in-form batsman Younis Khan was ruled out due to chest infection and fever.


The vice-captain, who hit 267 and 84 not out to lift Pakistan to a series-levelling win in the third and final Test in Bangalore on Monday, has been confined to bed for three days, captain Inzamam-ul Haq said on Friday.


"He is very weak. It is very difficult for him to play," Inzamam told reporters after both teams had nets at the Nehru stadium in this southern coastal town.


A sell-out crowd of 75,000 is expected to watch the match, the first of six one-dayers on Pakistan's first full tour of India in six years.


"We were sold out days ago. It will be a packed house," said Karunakaran Nair, secretary of the Indian cricket board and a key official of the local Kerala association.


A high-scoring thriller is on the cards since bowlers will struggle to contain runs on the flat wicket in stifling heat and humidity.


"These conditions do not suit a fast bowler, or for that matter, any kind of bowler," Inzamam said. "The wicket looks full of runs."


Inzamam said his team was high on morale after the brilliant Test victory in Bangalore, but warned against being complacent.


"We cannot carry our win in Bangalore to Cochin. It is a new game and we start from the beginning," he said.


"It is difficult to hazard a guess how the one-dayers will go. But I can safely say that India found it hard to combat us in the Tests, their job will be even harder in the shorter version of the game."


Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, under fire from fans and former players due to his poor form with the bat, hoped his luck will change in the one-day series.


The left-hander is 64 runs away from becoming only the third batsman after compatriot Sachin Tendulkar (13,497) and Inzamam (10,631) to score 10,000 one-day runs, but he was not thinking about the landmark yet.


"The important thing is to get some runs under the belt," said Ganguly. "If 7I play well the runs will come.


"Pakistan may have drawn the Test series with exceptional cricket, but the one-dayers are a different ball game and we are confident of doing well.


"We have happy memories of this ground after beating Australia and South Africa here in the past.


"It is always great cricket when India meets Pakistan and I am sure the same will happen again. It should be a treat for fans."


Ganguly said he will bat at number three behind Tendulkar and the explosive Virender Sehwag, with Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif to follow.


"It is a batting order that has done well in the past and there is no reason why we can't do it again," said Ganguly.


India (from): Sourav Ganguly (capt), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Mongia, Mahender Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Laxmipathy Balaji, Murali Kartik, Ashish Nehra.


Pakistan (from): Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Yousuf Youhana, Asim Kamal, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Nazir, Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Sami, Iftikhar Anjum, Danish Kaneria, Arshad Khan, Shoaib Malik.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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