August 16, 2003

Inzamam recalled for Bangladesh series

Wisden CricInfo staff

Inzamam-ul-Haq has been recalled to Pakistan's Test squad for their series against Bangladesh, following a five-month period of exile after his desperate performance in the World Cup.

Inzamam, 33, has made 6,214 runs in 85 Tests, including a career-best 329 in his most recent Test innings on home soil, against New Zealand at Lahore two years ago. But he managed just 19 runs in six innings in the World Cup in South Africa. He has since battled hard to earn a recall, and is eager to make his part on the three-Test series. "I am motivated for the game," he said, "and I want to make a comeback with a bang."

"We never had any doubts in our minds about the credentials, experience and talent of Inzamam," explained Aamir Sohail, Pakistan's chief selector. "We believed he deserved a rest because he had been playing non-stop cricket for 18 straight months. He was tired."

The rest of the squad has a distinctly youthful cant to it, with seven new caps being named among the 15-man party. Batsmen Saeed Bin Nasir and Farhan Adil, together with fast bowler Mohammad Khalil, never never played at the highest level at all, while Yasir Hameed, Mohammad Hafeez, Shabbir Ahmed and Umar Gul have all played one-day international cricket.

"The squad is a combination of youth and experience and we are basically looking at forming the right combination for the South Africa series [in October]," said Sohail. "The series against Bangladesh is an ideal opportunity for the younger players to establish themselves at Test level."

Pakistan Test squad Rashid Latif (capt & wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Taufiq Umar, Yasir Hameed, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Yousuf Youhana, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Umer Gul, Shabbir Ahmed, Danish Kaneria, Shoaib Akhtar, Saeed Bin Nasir, Mohammad Khalil and Farhan Adil.