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Shoaib not a concern: Uthappa

New Delhi: Shoaib Akhtar’s superb comeback will hardly be a concern for the hosts, feels hard-hitting batsman Robin Uthappa.

“I don’t think we need to prepare specially for Shoaib. He is their frontline bowler but that’s about it. I am not too worried about him. We just need to play our natural game,” Uthappa said on the sidelines of a felicitation function for the ICC World Twenty20 world champions Indian team held at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Tuesday.

Shoaib took four wickets on his return to international cricket after being suspended for his brawl with teammate Mohammed Asif before the ICC World Twenty20 meet.

The speedster has been included in the Pakistan squad for next week’s five-match ODI series against India.

But Uthappa said he would be at his usual attacking self against Shoaib.

“I will try to play my natural game against all the bowlers and he (Shoaib) is no different. Seriously, I am not too concerned about his return,” he said.

On the series as a whole, Uthappa said: “Playing against Pakistan is special because it puts you under a bit more pressure. Otherwise it is like playing against any other country. But ultimately it is all about giving your best for the country no matter who is your opponent.”

India is coming into the series on the back of an ODI series loss to Australia but Uthappa feels it hardly makes a difference.

“We lost the series but I think we played well against Australia. They are the best in the world but we got the better of them in Twenty20 world meet in South Africa. So that has given our confidence a boost,” he said.

“I don’t think the ODI series loss to Australia would have any bearing on this series. We will do really well against Pakistan,” he assured. (PTI)

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