Australia v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Sydney January 1, 2010

Danish Kaneria set for SCG Test

Cricinfo staff
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Pakistan legspinner Danish Kaneria has said he is likely to play the second Test against Australia in Sydney after recovering from the finger injury that ruled him out of the Boxing Day Test which Pakistan lost by 170 runs. Kaneria, who is Pakistan's most experienced bowler, hoped his return would boost the team's prospects of levelling the three-match series.

"I will try my best to do something to help us win in Sydney and try to keep up the expectation from the captain and my team," Kaneria said. "If I can contribute myself, it will be a very good sign for the team."

Kaneria missed the first Test after injuring his finger during a training session and Pakistan were forced to play the offspinner Saeed Ajmal instead. "The injury was the ring finger of the right hand I got injured 18 months ago in England," he said. "I fractured it, and playing a domestic game in Pakistan once more I got hit on it. Then in the practice, I got badly hit taking a catch."

The venue for the second Test - the SCG - has traditionally favoured spin and there is a possibility, although a slim one, that Pakistan might play two spinners. Ajmal, however, struggled in Melbourne, taking only a wicket in each innings to finish with 2 for 223.

"I haven't bowled too much with Ajmal, but if I get a chance to bowl with him it will be great for us," Kaneria said. "It's all upon me - how do I bowl and how do I perform? It's a big challenge for me to come back over here to Australia.

"I can't say that Australia don't play spin that well. Ajmal got only two wickets in Melbourne - one in each innings. I don't think they play spin badly. They have started to play spin better and more professionally."

Should Kaneria play the Test beginning on January 3, it will be his second appearance at the SCG. He took 8 for 204 in his only Test there in 2005.