Pakistan can surprise India: Hanif

Published on Mar 03, 2005 04:26 PM IST

The Pakistan cricket team on Thursday got some much-needed morale-boosting support from batting great Hanif Mohammad.

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HT Image
PTI | BySamiul Hasan (PTI), Karachi

The Pakistan cricket team on Thursday got some much-needed morale-boosting support from batting great Hanif Mohammad who said the side was capable of surprising India in the Test and one-day series.

"India will start as favourites because they have a batting lineup that is second best after Australia while their bowlers have penetration. But while saying that, I am not ruling out Pakistan. In fact, I am supporting them because I think they can surprise their opponents," Hanif said in an interview.

Hanif, 71, is considered one of the pioneers who was instrumental in putting Pakistan on the cricket map during their early days as a Test playing nation.

He played 55 Tests in which he scored 3,915 runs at 43.99.

His mammoth 337 against the West Indies in 1958 at Kensington Oval during which he batted for 16 hours and 39 minutes is still considered as one of the grittiest innings.

He also held the world record of scoring 499 in a first-class match for nearly 35 years until Brian Lara broke it by scoring 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994.

Hanif said Pakistan did not have many match winners like the teams that toured in the past. "But I am sure that the series against India and the determination to prove their critics wrong will bring the best out of them."

Hanif, who toured India twice in 1952-53 and 1960-61, said and captained Pakistan in 11 Tests, also said the fate of the series would depend on how the batsmen performed.

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