| Sami will be back after two-month lay-off
Rawalpindi: Paceman Mohammed Sami is all set to return when Pakistan take on Bangladesh in the fourth one-day International in Rawalpindi on Thursday.
Pakistan, enjoying an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series, hope Sami gets the ideal tune-up before the more challenging series against South Africa, scheduled to start with a one-day game in Karachi on September 26.
“Sami has come out of a two-month lay off so we hope he gets his rhythm in the last two matches before we take on South Africa,” said Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq.
The 22-year-old Sami twisted his ankle while playing for Kent in England and missed Pakistan’s 3-0 Test series win and the first three one-dayers against Bangladesh.
“With Sami in the attack we hope to pocket another win and enter the South African series on a high,” said Inzamam.
Pakistan won the first one-dayer in Multan by 137 runs, the second in Faisalabad by 74 runs and the third in Lahore by 42 runs. Sami is seen as an ideal pairing with express paceman Shoaib Akhtar and together they are regarded as a perfect replacement to the Wasim Akram-Waqar Younis pairing that has traditionally spearheaded the Pakistani attack since 1989.
Sami is likely to replace Shabbir Ahmed.
Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore hopes his boys will pull up their socks for the final matches. “If I do find one or two players who are not prepared to toughen up for international matches then they won’t have a very long career at all, they need to work harder,” said Whatmore, under whom Bangladesh have lost five Tests and six one-dayers since he took over as coach in June.
Pakistan: Mohammed Hafeez, Imran Nazir, Yasir Hameed, Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt.), Yousuf Youhana, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, Shabbir Ahmad, Umar Gul, Junaid Zia, Mohammed Sami, Danish Kaneria, Salman Butt
Bangladesh: Khaled Mahmud (capt.), Hanan Sarkar, Habibul Bashar, Mohammed Ashraful, Sanwar Hossain, Razin Saleh, Alok Kapali, Khaled Mashud, Mohammed Rafique, Mashrafe Murtaza, Tapash Baisya, Mushfique Rehman, Hasibul Hossain, Tushar Imran.
Umpires: Russell Tiffin (Zim) & Aleem Dar (Pak). (AFP)