Pakistan selectors consider leaving Muhammad Irfan out in Tests against South Africa

Irfan, who is around 6 feet 9 inches tall, was also rested for the two Tests on the recent tour of Zimbabwe where Pakistan lost the second one.

Last updated on Monday, 23 September, 2013 16:33 IST
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Karachi: Pakistani selectors are contemplating leaving out tall left-arm pacer Muhammad Irfan for the Test series against South Africa in the UAE as they fear his physique is not cut out for the longer version of the game.

Irfan, who is around 6 feet 9 inches tall, was also rested for the two Tests on the recent tour of Zimbabwe where Pakistan lost the second one.

A national selector, declining to be named, said the team management, including captain Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Muhammad Akram, were both apprehensive about Irfan's ability to last a five-day Test in the UAE.

"They have their point of view and they feel Irfan because of his physique and fitness is better suited to serve Pakistan cricket in T20 and One-day internationals," he said.

Irfan has played just two Tests since making a comeback to the national team last December on the short tour to India.

The tall bowler had played a one-dayer in England in 2010 but was then forgotten by the selectors before he was recalled to the national side for the short series in India.

Akram recently told the media that the team management felt they had to be careful with Irfan in the longer format of the game.

"He has got a different physique compared to other fast bowlers and he needs to work more on his fitness before he comes back to test cricket," the Pakistan bowling coach said.

But the tall and lanky Irfan is desperate to play the two Tests against South Africa in Abu Dhabi and Dubai next month insisting he had been working hard on his training and fitness since returning from Zimbabwe after the one-day series in August.

The pacer also spent time with Pakistan's fast bowling legend, Wasim Akram in a 10-day camp in Karachi this year where he was advised on how to swing the ball both ways.

Story first published on: Monday, 23 September 2013 16:30 IST

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