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Waqar’s chance to scan World Cup XV

Johannesburg: Pakistan’s tour of South Africa is a perfect opportunity to assess conditions ahead of the World Cup in February, captain Waqar Younis said on Monday.

Pakistan arrived for the tour starting on Tuesday fresh off a 2-0 Test series victory and 5-0 one-day International clean sweep of Zimbabwe.

“We’ve come here to try and win the series against South Africa,” Younis said.

“But at the same time it gives us a good opportunity to try and find our best team and exploit the conditions to get used to them for the World Cup.

“We’ve come with a squad of 17 which is maybe a bit much but we want to get our best XV for the World Cup and we will discover them here.”

Controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, suspended for one match after inciting the crowd at Sunday’s one-day International against Zimbabwe in Harare, is in the squad.

“Fast bowlers are hot-tempered and what happened was disappointing but that is the way it goes,” Waqar said. “But Shoaib is here and is bowling well and I’m looking forward to seeing him bowl on these fast wickets.”

“We will have a good idea after the one-day series about the make up of our World Cup squad,” said coach Richard Pybus. (Reuters)

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