Shoaib's return not a concern: Uthappa

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Shoaib Akhtar's intimidating comeback may be seen as a major threat to India's chances but Robin Uthappa said he would be his usual attacking self.

Updated: November 02, 2007 15:24 IST
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New Delhi:

Shoaib Akhtar's intimidating comeback may be seen as a major threat to India's chances against Pakistan in the upcoming series but hard-hitting batsman Robin Uthappa feels the mercurial pacer's return is hardly a concern for the hosts.

"I don't think we need to prepare specially for Shoaib. He is their frontline bowler but that's about it. I am not too worried about him. We just need to play our natural game," Uthappa said.

Shoaib took four wickets on his return to international cricket after being suspended for his brawl with fellow pacer Mohammad Asif before the Twenty20 World Cup.

The speedster has been included in the team for next week's five-match ODI series against India as well but Uthappa said he would be his usual attacking self against Shoaib.

"I try to play my natural game against all the bowlers and he is no different. Seriously, I am not too concerned about his return," he said.

On the series as a whole, Uthappa said the only difference between playing against Pakistan and playing against any other team is the amount of pressure on the players.

Uthappa also said he was working towards sharpening his bowling keeping in mind the Pakistani batsmen.

"I am working on some areas particularly to contain the Pakistani batsmen," he said.

The 21-year-old will also derive inspiration from his man of the match award against Pakistan in a Test at Faisalabad in January 2006.

He said former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq's absence would benefit the Indians.

"Pakistan will definitely miss the experience of Inzamam because he had the ability to change the complexion of a match. It will put pressure on their batting."

Pakistan will play a full-fledged series of five one-dayers and three Tests in India with the tour opening warm-up match scheduled on Friday at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground.

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