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Pak to field 4 debutants

Karachi: Muhammad Hafeez, Yasir Hameed, Umer Gul and Shabbir Ahmed will make their Test debuts for Pakistan against Bangladesh on Wednesday.

Batsmen Hafeez and Hameed along with pace bowlers Gul and Ahmed, who have all played ODIs, were named in the starting line-up for the first Test by captain Rashid Latif on Tuesday.

Pakistan rarely announce their team the day before a Test match but Latif said there was no point in delaying it.

Bangladesh have not named their side but may give batsman Rajih Salah Alam his first Test cap in place of Mohammad Ashraful, who has been out of form in recent matches.

Alam, who turns 20 in November, was named in the 14-man squad for Bangladesh’s inaugural Test played against India in 2000 but did not play.

“People are looking for an improved performance from us against Pakistan,” said Bangladesh captain Khaled Mahmud.

“But we are looking at the future. It is not about how we fare in one match, it is about what sort of trend we set for ourselves throughout the series.”

Pakistan coach Javed Miandad said his team will not go easy on Bangladesh. “We have told the boys they are professionals and know how they have to play this series,” he said.

Shoaib focus on length

Meanwhile, Shoaib said he has improved after a stint with Durham and the national side is set to reap the benefit.

“It’s hell of an experience and I now feel I am a improved bowler and can serve the country in a better way,” said Shoaib, whose stint with Durham started in May.

“I am enjoying County cricket and now my length is a yard further, just like Australian Glenn McGrath and now I am more for length than speed,” said Shoaib.

THE TEAMS

Pakistan: Taufiq Umar, Muhammad Hafeez, Yasir Hameed, Inzamam-ul Haq, Yousaf Youhana, Misbah-ul Haq, Rashid Latif (capt), Shoaib Akhtar, Umer Gul, Shabbir Ahmed, Danish Kaneria, Shoaib Malik (12th man).

Bangladesh (from): Khaled Mahmud (captain), Javed Omar, Khaled Mashud, Hannan Sarkar, Mohammad Ashraful, Habibul Bashar, Sanwar Hossain, Alok Kapali, Rajin Salah Alam, Mashrafee Bin Mortaza, Mohammad Rafiq, Alamgir Kabir, Manjurul Islam, Tapash Baisya, Anwar Hossain Munir.

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