Butt unsure over Yousuf return

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/m/mohammadyousuf1.jpg' class='caption'> Salman Butt added to the fog of uncertainty surrounding Mohammad Yousuf by refusing to say whether or not the batsman would play in the second Test.

Updated: August 05, 2010 16:02 IST
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Pakistan captain Salman Butt added to the fog of uncertainty surrounding Mohammad Yousuf by refusing to say whether or not the batsman would play in the second Test against England.

Former captain Yousuf arrived in England on Thursday, less than a day before the second Test gets underway at Edgbaston here on Friday.

The 35-year-old batsman was summoned to the squad just hours after Pakistan were bowled out for 80 - their lowest total against England - on the way to a massive 354-run defeat in the first Test at Trent Bridge.

It represented a massive turnaround for Yousuf, who had announced his retirement from international cricket after being handed an indefinite ban by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after captaining the side in their 3-0 series loss in Australia earlier this year.

But he has not played a senior match since the last of two domestic Twenty20 matches in March.

Although he averages 70 against England, it is now possible Yousuf could play in this second of a four-match series after some nine hours on a plane and without having had even a net in Britain.

After the Trent Bridge defeat, Butt stressed the need for Pakistan to stand by young batsmen such as Azhar Ali and Umar Amin and he was equivocal about Yousuf's chances of playing at Edgbaston.

"It depends what condition he is in," said Butt.

"I am sure he must have practised somewhere because he knew he was coming here for a Test match," he added.

Butt insisted there was no contradiction between his post-match comments at Trent Bridge and the recall of Yousuf who is third in Pakistan's list of all-time run scorers with 7,431 at 53.07 including 12 hundreds in 88 matches.

"I definitely believe these young people here have the ability.

"But we definitely welcome the experienced person coming in, if he can do some good for the team. It also gives the youngsters the chance to speak to him and benefit from his experience."

"I definitely want to use his experience but it depends what sort of state he is in.

"I don't want to get anyone who is not 100 percent ready for it."

Butt said he didn't know why Yousuf had changed his mind over retirement.

"I don't have a clue about that. That was to do with him and the cricket authorities."

Butt admitted the latest chaotic episode in Pakistan cricket, following on from his own elevation to the captaincy after Shahid Afridi quit Tests after a 150-run loss to Australia at Lord's last month, had been far from ideal preparation.

"When there is no certainty about someone coming or going it is hard to play in the middle."

England captain Andrew Strauss is well aware of the potential that Yousuf brings with him.

When Pakistan were last in England four years ago, Yousuf scored 631 runs in a four-Test series at an average of 90.14 with three hundreds including a double century.

"We saw too much of him last time, because he had a great series," said Strauss. "His average suggests he's a top-quality Test player."

"Hopefully, if he does play, he's a bit jet-lagged and we can get enough balls in the right area."

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