Pak considering four-pronged seam attack
Pakistan are considering the option of fielding a four-pronged pace attack against India on a grassy track in the decisive third Test starting on Tuesday.
With Mohammad Sami being declared fit for the decider, Pakistan is considering the option of giving Test debut to all-rounder Rana Naveed-ul Hasan and recalling pacer Fazle Akbar after the two impressed during the nets this morning.
Pakistan was forced to look up to these untested bowlers after their Lahore match hero Umar Gul was ruled out due to a back injury. Pacer Shabbir Ahmed and Abdul Razzaq, who did not play the Lahore Test, have yet to recover from their injuries.
"We have not reduced the 17-man squad to 15 but it is more likely that we will drop Rao Iftikhar and Abdul Rauf from the 17," said captain Inzamam-ul Haq on Sunday.
If Pakistan plays with four seamers and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria then they will have to drop either out-of-form Taufiq Umer or the impressive Asim Kamal. If Taufiq is dropped then Yasir Hameed will be asked to open the innings.
Naveed played in the first of five one-day internationals which India won 3-2 last month.
Akbar, a 23-year-old pacer from Peshawar, was a victim of Waqar Younis-Wasim Akram rivalry and played the last of his four Tests in New Zealand in 2001 but has since been the main wicket-taker in Pakistan's domestic season.
"We need one more day to decide because both Naveed and Fazle looked good in the nets," said coach Javed Miandad.
Pakistan have once again prepared a grassy track with good bounce at a venue where Pakistan had lost their last two Tests.
The hosts were thrashed by an innings by Mark Taylor's Australia in 1998-99 and then edged out by two wickets by Sanath Jayasuriya led Sri Lanka in the 2000 season, the last time a Test was played at the venue.