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Cairns, Pollock on fringe of elite double

Chris Cairns and Shaun Pollock will on Wednesday go into a three Test series knowing they could both make the elite 3000-run, 300-wicket double.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2004 12:11 IST

New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns and South African rival Shaun Pollock will on Wednesday go into a three Test series knowing they could both make the elite 3000-run, 300-wicket double.

Cairns will be playing his first Test against South Africa in his 15-year Test cricket career knowing he needs 136 runs and just three wickets for exclusive membership alongside countryman Richard Hadlee, West Indian Garfield Sobers, England's Ian Botham, Pakistan's Imran Khan and India's Kapil Dev.

Pollock needs 132 runs to reach 3000 and already has 326 wickets.

But after viewing the dry, grassless pitch, Cairns appeared convinced it would be hard work to achieve the three wickets.

"I don't know if I'll get many overs. It's going to be a turning wicket dominated by batsmen and by spinners," he said.

Cairns said he was just happy to be playing again in a Test— Wednesday's will be his 57th— let alone his first against South Africa, after missing the 1994, 1999 and 2000 series with injury.

His only Test since then was in December against Pakistan, when his bowling was barely above medium pace and he tensed up with expectation, sending down 17 wicket-less overs.

"I came into this last Test against Pakistan keen on the statistical side of things, and I realised that was probably the mistake I made.

"I've never gone into games for New Zealand looking to achieve statistics. I feel I'm getting back into my bowling, hitting the ball pretty cleanly, and I just want to beat South Africa."

First Published: Mar 09, 2004 12:11 IST