Pakistan still uncertain over playing eleven against NZ

Updated: 01 October 2009 17:06 IST

Controversial pacer Mohammad Asif's impressive comeback against Australia has left the Pakistan team management in a fix over the playing eleven.

Pakistan still uncertain over playing eleven against NZ

Karachi:

Controversial pacer Mohammad Asif's impressive comeback against Australia has left the Pakistan team management in a fix over the playing eleven for their semifinal clash against New Zealand in the Champions Trophy on Saturday.

Pakistan captain Younus Khan admitted that Asif's successful comeback to international cricket after nearly 17 months, has forced the tour selection committee to engage in lengthy discussions to decide upon the playing eleven for the all-important tie.

"We might even decide to play with four specialist pace bowlers in Asif, Rana Naved, Umar Gul and Mohammad Aamer but it all depends on the pitch condition at the Wanderers," Younus said from Johannesburg.

Pakistan had rested left arm pacer Aamer and opener Imran Nazir in their last group match against Australia which they lost on the last ball.

Younus said Nazir was rested because he still had stitches on the webbing of his hand which he tore during the game against India.

"We didn't want to risk him. And if he plays in the semifinal, then definitely it would be Misbah-ul-Haq who would have to make the sacrifice by sitting out," he said.

Younus, however, didn't rule out the possibility of both Nazir and Misbah not playing if Pakistan decides to field four pacers.

"It is a dicey situation for us as we don't want to go into the match with any weak links. Reading the pitch correctly would be the key to our performance," he said.

Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed said although the selection of the team will be difficult, encountering such a situation is a good sign for the side.

"It is good to be in a position where you don't know which player to drop or rest because all of them are doing well. That is the sort of situation we are facing in the pace bowling department which is our real strength," Yawar said.

He said Pakistan had given their best shot against Australia despite posting a modest target and dragged the game to the last ball.

"I think we fought splendidly despite just defending 205 runs. No one in the dressing room had discussed before or during the match the fact that if we have lost it would have put India out of the semifinals.

"The players were just told to go out and try to maintain their winning momentum. I think the four best teams in this competition have qualified for the semifinals," Yawar added.

Topics : Cricket Sachin Tendulkar Salman Butt Board of Control for Cricket in India Gautam Gambhir Javed Miandad Pakistan
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