Younis Khan available for third Test

Published on Aug 27, 2003 02:03 PM IST

Pakistan will be reinforced by the return of senior batsman Younis Khan for the third Test against Bangladesh in Multan.

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PTI | ByReuters, Peshawar, Pakistan

Pakistan will be reinforced by the return of senior batsman Younis Khan for the third test against Bangladesh in Multan.

Younis Khan had opted to miss the first two tests, the second of which started on Wednesday, against Bangladesh due to family commitments.

"He has made himself available for selection from the third test onwards," chief selector Aamer Sohail told Reuters on Wednesday. The third test is due to start on September 3

Pakistan won the first test on the final day last Sunday by seven wickets.

The 26-year-old Khan has been a vital cog in Pakistan's batting line-up for the last few years having scored 1646 runs in 27 tests.

"Obviously Younis is a strong choice for the third test given his experience. He, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana are our best bets in the middle order," Sohail said.

The Pakistan selectors will also find out from fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar during the second test if he is keen to play in the third and one-day series against Bangladesh, or wants to rejoin county Durham.

Durham had released Akhtar for the first two tests against Bangladesh when Mohammad Sami was injured on the condition that he would join them again from early September.

"The academy team has returned from South Africa and we have some options available now in fast bowlers," Sohail added.

"But we have to see in this test if newcomers like Umar Gul, Shabbir Ahmed can take the pressure of shouldering the bowling in the third test without Shoaib and Sami," the chief selector said.

However, all indications are that that the Pakistan cricket board has decided to release Akhtar after the second test, being played in the northwestern city of Peshawar, to join Durham.

The PCB is not keen to go back on a commitment it made to Durham to release Akhtar after the first two tests.

Akhtar's new ball partner, Mohammad Sami, has started his rehabilitation process for recovering from a stress hairline fracture in his ankle.

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