Pakistan upbeat about Yousuf

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Pakistan are confident that recalled batsman Mohammad Yousuf will be available for selection in the second Test against England starting at Edgbaston.

Updated: August 04, 2010 16:09 IST
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Pakistan are confident that recalled batsman Mohammad Yousuf will be available for selection in the second Test against England starting at Edgbaston on Friday.

Just hours after Pakistan lost the first Test by a huge margin of 354 runs at Trent Bridge on Sunday, Pakistan summoned 35-year-old former captain Yousuf, so ending the batsman's brief retirement from international cricket.

There were concerns as to whether Yousuf had the correct documentation for entry into Britain but a Pakistan spokesman told reporters here on Wednesday: "He has the visa. The administrative delay has been overcome."

Yousuf, handed an indefinite ban by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) earlier this year after leading the team on their 3-0 Test series loss in Australia, is expected to arrive in England on Thursday.

That leaves him with less than a day to get ready to face England, raising doubts over whether he will have had sufficient preparation time for a return to Test cricket.

Yousuf averages over 53 in Test cricket but that was reduced to 29.66 in Australia where his best score was 61.

Fast bowler Mohammad Asif insisted a side bowled out in their second innings at Trent Bridge for just 80 - Pakistan's lowest total against England - were not pinning all their hopes on Yousuf.

"We don't know whether he is in good form or not," Asif told reporters at Edgbaston on Wednesday. "We are not depending on him actually. We still depend on the young side."

Before their defeat at Trent Bridge, Pakistan won the second of two Tests against Australia by three wickets at Headingley.

"Anything can still happen," said Asif who took five wickets for 77 runs in the first innings at Trent Bridge.

"This side beat the Australians within three days so what can you say? This is just the first defeat. We are looking forward. We have not lost the series, we have just lost one game."

Yousuf has played just a couple of domestic Twenty20 matches since January but Asif insisted that would not prevent him from playing or producing some runs at Edgbaston.

"He (Yousuf) is one of the legends of the game. If he has agreed to play he can play straight away."

"I have not seen him but I have heard he has been practising hard in the academy in national cricket academy in Lahore. When he arrives it depends on the selection committee and him."

England off-spinner Graeme Swann feels Yousuf's return will help the tourists.

"It's probably a boost for Pakistan," he said. "We don't focus too much on what the opposition are doing but when a player of Yousuf's ability comes in you have to sit back and say 'How are we going to attack this player, how are we going to nullify that threat?'.

"He will be a threat, he's a world-class player, but the way we're bowling, especially Jimmy (Anderson) and Steven (Finn) up at Trent Bridge, we won't mind who we're bowling at."

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