Sunday, November 23, 2008

Inthikab sees a role for Shoaib

"He can play a very important role against India and we will be relying on him to deliver the goods with experience and pace. I don't think he is finished. If nursed properly and he takes care of himself, Shoaib can do more for Pakistan than he has done in recent times," Intikhab, who guided the team to a clean sweep in ODI series against West Indies in Abu Dhabi recently, said today.

"Shoaib is certainly not finished as an international player as yet and he still has a few years to give to Pakistan cricket," he added.

The former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Lt Gen (retd) Tauqir Zia recently advised the PCB to tell the fast bowler to go home and retire as he was finished as an international cricketer.

Intikhab, a former international cricketer, said that Shoaib had been told to follow a rigorous rehabilitation and training programme under the supervision of the team's Australian trainer David Dwyer.

Shoaib regained his berth in the national team recently and went to Abu Dhabi with the squad but didn't play in the series due to a calf strain.

"He is working very hard and doing what he has been asked to do to lose weight, become fitter and sharper and get the match fitness. He was fit for the final match (in Abu Dhabi) but we decided to not risk him on the advice of the trainer," he said. Speaking on the coming home-series against India, the coach insisted, "The series is very much on and we have to start serious preparations for it. All the players have already been given individual programs to keep themselves fit for the series as it is big for us." Intikhab also lauded Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men for their stupendous performance in the recent series against Australia and the ongoing England series.

"India has done really well in recent months and against Australia they were the better side but I think one of the reasons for their success is also the cricket balls they use in domestic cricket and against touring sides.

"The Indian players are well versed with the SG cricket balls and know how to use them well. Compared to the Kookaburra, the SG has a more prominent seam that does not die down after a few overs and is a big help for the spinners and pacers alike. It allows them to take a strong grip and use it effectively," he said.

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