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Akhtar desperate to knock India out

Pakistan's pace spearhead said he would prove his fitness by giving a match-winning performance in the final Test.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 18:06 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Pakistan's pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar said on Saturday he had fully recovered from an ankle injury and will prove that by giving a match-winning performance in the final Test against India.

"This is a very important Test for my team and for me and I want to make a big contribution," said the 30-year-old ahead of Sunday's decisive Test at the National stadium here following a 0-0 deadlock in the three-match series.

Akhtar, who took 17 wickets in Pakistan's 2-0 win against England last year, has managed just one wicket in the two Tests of the current series played on slow wickets heavily tilted in favour of batsmen.

He developed an ankle injury during the second Test in Faisalabad and was relieved he had been declared fit to play the decider.

"When I bowled my heart out in the first two Tests how could I think of sitting out in this crucial Test," he said. "No way I would miss this game."

Akhtar, who has taken 162 wickets in 41 Tests, admitted the flat tracks in the first two Tests had demoralised bowlers on both sides.

"You can't do much on such lifeless tracks but we tried our best," he said.

"You need a bit from the track to get 20 wickets against a team like India whose batting line up runs deep."

Akhtar said he was delighted at the hard, greenish wicket prepared for the final Test.

"My spirits were raised when I looked at the pitch and I hope it will have something more for us this time," he said.

Akhtar denied accusations that he hurled a full toss at Indian wicket-keeper Mahendra Dhoni in the Faisalabad Test because he was frustrated at not getting wickets.

"It slipped out of my hand, it was nothing intentional," he said."

First Published: Jan 28, 2006 18:03 IST