India v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Bangalore, 2nd day December 9, 2007

Shoaib can't bowl till second session

Pakistan's hopes of restricting India on the second day suffered a significant blow as Shoaib Akhtar, their leading strike-bowler, will be allowed to bowl only after spending 205 minutes on the field. He took the field at the start of the second day and, if he doesn't go off, will be allowed to bowl at 1.38 pm.

Shoaib, who was suffering from back pain, bowled only ten overs on the first day before leaving the field for the final time after the 32nd over, shortly after lunch. He was taken to hospital for an MRI scan after suffering back pain during the first day of the final Test against India in Bangalore. The scan revealed no injury but he was experiencing muscle spasms.

In the absence of Shoaib and with Yasir Arafat, Mohammad Sami and Danish Kaneria tiring, Younis had to resort to part-timers to help finish day's overs. He brought himself on to bowl and also used Yasir Hameed and Salman Butt in tandem. They bowled 12 overs in all and conceded 50 runs as Yuvraj Singh and Sourav Ganguly accumulated runs with ease against a toothless attack.

According to the laws of the game, if a player is absent from the field for 15 minutes or longer, he shall not be permitted to bowl until "he has been on the field for at least that length of playing time for which he was absent."

George Binoy is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo