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Pakistan suffer Younis blow ahead of third England Test
by AFP


Player:Younis Khan
Event:England in Pakistan 2005/06

DateLine: 27th November 2005

 

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said Sunday Younis Khan's absence for the third and final Test cricket Test against England here was a big blow.

 

The Pakistani batsman pulled out of Tuesday's match following the death of his brother.

 

"Younis has lost his brother and will not play in the third Test. It is big blow to our team," said Woolmer, whose team lead 1-0 in the three-match series following their 22-run win in the first Test at Multan.

 

The second Test ended in a draw at Faisalabad.

 

Younis, who made 121 in the last two Tests against England, returned home after hearing the news of his brother's death in Ukraine Saturday night.

 

He has scored nine hundreds and 11 half-centuries in 39 Tests.

 

Woolmer said Younis's non-availability had disturbed the balance in the team's batting order.

 

"Younis is a regular at number three and his absence has affected the balance. We may now bring in Asim Kamal at number three and Hasan Raza in place of Shahid Afridi at number six," he said.

 

The left-handed Kamal, who hit a fighting 99 on his Test debut against South Africa here two years ago, did not play in the first two Tests, while Raza was dropped after failing in the first match.

 

Afridi, who hit a robust 92 and captured four wickets in the second Test, was not available for selection after being banned for one Test and two one-day internationals for damaging the pitch at Faisalabad.

 

Woolmer said the team management had not asked for Younis's replacement.

 

"We have not asked for any replacement but we have an option of bringing in a regular opener and may ask Shoaib Malik to bat at number three," he said.

 

Pakistan are also likely to rest out-of-form fast bowler Mohammad Sami and include Mohammad Asif, who took 10 wickets in a warm-up match against England at Lahore early this month.

 

The Pakistan coach said his team were determined to clinch the series.

 

"One has to cope with injuries and other problems. The morale is high and we enter the Test to win the series," said Woolmer.

 

Pakistan have yet to win a Test series since Woolmer took over in 2004.

 

"We know how important it is to win a Test here and also know England can bounce back, but the players are confident of giving their best," said Woolmer.

 

England will also make a couple of changes to the side that played in the second Test.

 

Opening batsman Andrew Strauss has returned home to attend the birth of his first child and is likely to be replaced with all-rounder Paul Collingwood.

 

Fast bowler James Anderson may also get a chance at off-spinner Shaun Udal's expense on a pitch which is expected to help seamers.

 

Anderson played the last of his 12 Tests in South Africa in January this year.

 

Skipper Michael Vaughan is expected to open the innings with Marcus Trescothick.

 

England (from): Michael Vaughan (capt), Marcus Trescothick, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff, Geraint Jones, Ashley Giles, Alex Loudon, Shaun Udal, Steve Harmison, Liam Plunkett, Matthew Hoggard, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior, James Anderson, Alastair Cook.

 

Pakistan (from): Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), Salman Butt, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Yousuf, Asim Kamal, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Sami, Danish Kaneria, Arshad Khan, Mushtaq Ahmed, Shoaib Akhtar, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Hasan Raza, Mohammad Asif.

 

Umpires: Darrell Hair (AUS) and Rudi Koertzen

 

TV umpire: Zameer Haider

 

Match referee: Roshan Mahanama

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)



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