England v Pakistan, 1st npower Test, Trent Bridge, 4th day August 1, 2010

Mohammad Yousuf added to Test squad


Mohammad Yousuf has been called into Pakistan's squad for the remainder of the England tour, as the PCB reacted swiftly to Pakistan's 354-run defeat at Trent Bridge. Danish Kaneria has also been axed from the group following his disappointing bowling display, with the left-arm spinner Raza Hasan called up.

The addition of Yousuf, who in March announced his retirement from international cricket, came just hours after England completed their big win in Nottingham. Earlier this year, Yousuf was handed an indefinite ban by the PCB after he captained Pakistan on their disastrous tour of Australia, during which the side fell apart under his control.

"We got a request from the tour management for Mohammad Yousuf and I then discussed with our selectors and we have okayed it," Mohsin Khan, the chief selector, told Cricinfo. "As far as I am aware Yousuf has been training and is fit. He has played in local club tournaments as well."

As a batsman, Yousuf has the potential to strengthen Pakistan's line-up immeasurably for the remaining three Tests, although he has not played any form of elite cricket since March. A team source told Cricinfo that Yousuf would definitely play in the second Test at Edgbaston starting on Friday, provided he arrived in time, and if he had the correct visa, which was as yet unclear.

"A man with his experience and his runs cannot sit out," the team source said. However, Cricinfo has learnt that the captain, Salman Butt, and the coach, Waqar Younis, were not consulted on Yousuf's inclusion and they were only informed about the reinforcements after the Trent Bridge defeat.

There was no similar call-up for the former captain Younis Khan, who has been playing county cricket with Surrey. But while Pakistan have gained an experienced player in Yousuf, they have also lost one of their veterans after the PCB said in a statement that Kaneria would be released to play county cricket for Essex.

The board said Kaneria would remain available to the Test squad if required, but for now Hasan, 18, would join the squad as his replacement. Hasan has played only two first-class matches and will almost certainly be second in line behind Saeed Ajmal for the Birmingham Test.

Kaneria struggled to have any impact at Trent Bridge, where he finished with match figures of 1 for 171, and he was also well below his best in the two Tests against Australia. The captain, Butt, told Cricinfo that the team hoped Kaneria would regain his spark if he was given a chance at county level.

"He [Kaneria] is our most experienced guy," Butt said. "We need to give him time to get back into form and to get his confidence back in a competitive game rather than sitting in the dressing room and getting frustrated. One way is to allow him to play on the county circuit which will give him a chance and be in the middle and dominate and get his rhythm going."

Butt said he and Waqar spoke to Kaneria for ten minutes after reaching the team hotel in the hours after Pakistan's loss. "He was obviously disappointed," Butt said. "But the best thing he said was he would come back strongly. That was what I wanted to hear."

Butt said the matter to release Kaneria, who has 261 Test wickets, was discussed between he and the coaches and the team management. Kaneria declined to comment.

England's coach, Andy Flower, would not be drawn on the merits of the call-ups. "We are not overly concerned with the decisions they make," he said. "We don't waste energy on analysing their decisions, we will play as well as we can whoever they put out."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    Now you bring Yousuf why can they bring Younis Khan and Yasir Hameed in the team most experince players in the squad.Why the board treat them differently.Just one yearago Younis Khan brought T20 world cup and bring joy and happiness to the nation.Now he is no where.Pls change attitude and be fair with everyone.We are one nation.So take care of our sportsman.Pls for ALLAH sake don't take it personel.

  • Hammad on August 3, 2010, 21:42 GMT

    Team management should introduce Mohammad Yousaf,Yasir Hameed and Saeed Ajmal in the next matches.....

  • zahir on August 3, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    To the blokes calling for the return of Afridi and Kaneria. Have you ever considered switching to wrestling as your hobby instead of cricket? How exactly would you classify Afridi in test cricket? Batsman, never in light years and he found out himself in one diifficult match. A bowler, can't be because he did not have the guts to bring himself on until late in the innings and when he did Watson hammered him for over 20 runs in one over. A fielder, well a fairly decent fielder but that is never enough. For his IQ? Well everytime I see him biting the ball, I am overwhelmed with embarassment and shame. As for Kaneria, he went backwards with every test and series because batsman always found him out. He was more of a Kumble than Warne. That kind of bowling requires patience and intelligence. Kaneria had neither. IT IS GOOD RIDDANCE for our cricket. Let young players grow. I don't care if we lose 4-0 but in the years to follow, these youngster will be our future, if we want one.

  • boomboom on August 3, 2010, 20:55 GMT

    I think PCB should bring back Younis/Razzaq/Akhter in the test cricket... we need experience, also I think we can try salman with kamran as openers, I know you guys think kamran is not playing well, but that guy has talent, he hasnt managed well, remember when malik was playing in lower order, he was not performing, but he started playing well in third position, PCB need to manage their team better, and should use all their resources... Pakistani team are blessed with talent, but the talent is not utilized... I think we can make these players better, the only way is to play them, give them more chance, because experience and skills are not made over night, it takes long time for a player to obtain that, these young players can be used against low profile teams, not England/Australia, they are the best, to be the best you got to beat the best, and that can be done when you bring the best...

  • Yash on August 3, 2010, 20:34 GMT

    Yosufs Inclusion is surely a positive for pakistan cricket but kaneria's exclusion could prove costlier

  • Muhammad on August 3, 2010, 20:01 GMT

    looking at the way pakistan has been performing i think its worth loosing with experience on the field atleast people wont say that pakistan lost because of inexperience..

    My suggestion for the 2nd test.. Open with kamran .. maybe he can score more at the top because hes useless anyway.. and umar amin????? no clue why he keeps on getting chances over the experienced Y.Hameed

    1. Salman Butt 2. Kamran Akmal 3. Yasir Hameed 4. Mohammad Yousuf 5. Azhar Ali 6. Umar Akmal 7. Shohaib Malik 8. Mohammad Amir 9. Umar Gul 10. Mohammad Asif 11. Saeed Ajmal/Raza Hassan

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2010, 18:45 GMT

    Its a good news for Pakistan Cricket that Muhammad Yousuf is Back in Test Sqaud well in Test Cricket Senior Cricketers can handle it better it Test Cricket is a Real Cricket in which experience is Must........I Hope they Must Bring Younis khan and Misbah-ul-haq so that Middle Order must become Strong Department

  • Amjad on August 3, 2010, 18:31 GMT

    i say bring back the loin-heart Afridi... this team looks like pussy cat without him.. what the hell is wrong with these guys out there..against australlia it was a mental-barrier..fine, its good enough for an excuse as we have never been able to beat them fairly.. but what the heck is wrong with them now against england? i thought we always performed better against england-in-england than england-in-pakisstan...ahhh this is all going no where.. please somebody tell me i realy want to SUE PCB i swear to God, i realy realy want to .. its insult, disgrace for us,pakistanis, as a nation that we are led by such a jerk i.e. Ijaz Butt...

  • Hassan on August 3, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    both younis and yousuf are the best

  • Ishtiaq on August 3, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    Pakistani team on of best team .......................

    Indian team also not bad but they don't have experience bowlers tendulker is playing from 1967 he is not giving chance to young talent................................

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