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Test fightback inspires Pakistan ahead of key one-dayer
by AFP


Ground:Keenan Stadium, Jamshedpur
Scorecard:India v Pakistan
Player:Younis Khan, RS Dravid, MS Dhoni
Event:Pakistan in India 2004/05

DateLine: 8th April 2005

 

Pakistan vice-captain Younis Khan has said his team will bounce back in the current one-day series against India as they had done in the preceding Test series.

 

"We drew the Test series by winning the final match in Bangalore and we can do the same in the one-dayers too," a fit-again Younis said ahead of the third match at the Keenan stadium here on Saturday.

 

Pakistan, who trail 0-2 in the six-match series, must win on Saturday to keep their hopes alive of winning the series.

 

"It is only a matter of finding the rhythm and we have every chance of winning some matches on the trot," said Younis, who missed the first two one-dayers with a fever.

 

"One-dayers are all about playing well on a particular day. India had two good days but we can come back and win the next four matches."

 

Younis set up Pakistan's memorable win in Bangalore with a career-best 267 and 84 not out.

 

"I am fit to play but we have yet to decide on the composition," he said. "We have been trying out different things and may change the batting order around a bit.

 

"Winning the toss proves crucial on flat pitches as the team batting first often puts up a big total and subsequently pressure mounts on the opposition.

 

"India won the toss in the previous two matches and batsmen like Virender Sehwag survived some early chances. But things can be a lot different with some luck," Younis said.

 

Indian vice-captain Rahul Dravid was cautious about predicting the outcome of the one-day series.

 

"We dominated the Test series but still could not win it," he said. "So we have to strive to do our best on a regular basis.

 

"Pakistan are a very good side and a couple of good performances from their top players can turn the series around."

 

India's wicket-keeper Mahender Dhoni, who hit a belligerent 148 in the second match at Visakhapatnam on Tuesday, ensured tickets for Saturday's match on his home ground were sold out within hours.

 

"He did so well in the last game that we are likely to persist with him at the top of the order," Dravid said of India's newest star.

 

"He is definitely an asset and it also means I will not have to keep wickets any more."

 

Dravid was forced to keep wicket in one-day matches over the last few years, including the World Cup in South Africa in 2003, to accommodate an extra batsman or bowler.

 

Before Dhoni slammed a maiden century in only his fifth match, Dravid was the only Indian wicketkeeper to reach three figures in one-dayers.

 

The remaining matches are scheduled to be played in Ahmedabad (April 12), Kanpur (April 15) and New Delhi (April 17).

 

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is due to attend the New Delhi match on an invitation from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)



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