Kaneria, Faisal and Sami to join Pakistan team in India
KARACHI: The cricket selectors have decided to send three players to India before the start of the three-Test series. Daily Times has learnt on good authority that leg spinner Danish Kaneria, middle order batsman Faisal Iqbal and fast bowler Mohammad Sami are favourites to join the Pakistan cricket team before the first Test starting in New Delhi from November 22.
The national selection committee, headed by former Test cricketer Salahuddin Ahmad, had already decided to send a wicketkeeper to share the burden with Kamran Akmal. The chief selector had a discussion with members Shafqat Rana and Saleem Jaffer regarding the combination of the Pakistan team for the Test series.
Kaneria, not selected for the one-day series, is all set to play the Test series against India. Kaneria has taken 17 wickets for Habib Bank Limited in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. On the slow turning wickets of India, Kaneria could be a useful weapon for Pakistan.
Sami is also performing very well in the domestic circuit, representing the Karachi Whites team as its skipper. The 26-year-old Sami, who has played 30 Tests and 83 ODIs, is in a devastating form.
He has taken 17 wickets with an average of 20.94 in the first class matches. Sami last played a Test match for Pakistan in January this year against South Africa at Cape Town. He also played against Australia A in the home series representing Pakistan A.
An elbow injury to fast bowler Mohammad Asif has convinced the selectors to include experienced Sami for the crunch Test series against the archrivals.
The selectors are of the view that Faisal can strengthen the middle order batting. Faisal played in the first Test against South Africa in Karachi last month. He batted well in the second innings but after the return of seasoned batsman Mohammad Yousuf he had to sit in the dressing room.
The players who will return to Pakistan after the India one-day series are opener Imran Nazir, fast bowler Rao Iftikhar Anjum and all rounder Fawad Alam.