Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Karachi October 26, 2004

Moin Khan replaced

Wisden Cricinfo Staff



Moin Khan will not play in the second Test starting this week © Getty Images
Moin Khan, Pakistan's veteran wicketkeeper-batsman, has been left out of the squad for the second Test against Sri Lanka that starts this Thursday at Karachi.

Wasim Bari, Pakistan's chief selector, yesterday said, "Moin has been dropped. We have called up Kamran Akmal for the second Test on the request of the team management. Moin has been struggling for batting form."

Moin, who has represented his country in 69 Test and 219 one-day internationals, has failed to score an international fifty since March. He managed just six runs in the defeat to Sri Lanka in the first Test, where the top-order batting also failed. Akmal, 22, made his Test debut on the 2002-03 tour of Zimbabwe.

Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan's captain, had indicated on Sunday that a change in wicketkeepers would occur for the second Test: "We gave him [Moin] a chance in 15 to 20 one-day matches and now in this [first] Test he has also not done well so we will try someone new in the next match."

Moin himself revealed that the decision to leave him out had been made much earlier: "I was told by the captain, Inzamam-ul Haq, before the first Test that a new wicketkeeper will be tested in my place in Karachi and I accept this because I was not in good form with the bat." But Moin continued, "I am a fighter and will fight to take my place back because I have enough cricket left in me."

The door, however, does not remain shut. "Nobody is finished and Moin can get his place back if he regains his form," confirmed Bari.

He also indicated that former captain Rashid Latif may earn a recall to the team: "Latif's name also came under discussion but he has played too few first-class matches. If he keeps performing like he has done, he too can come back into the side."

Latif, who led Pakistan in the exodus following the dismal showing in last year's World Cup, last played a year ago against South Africa in one-day internatioanls. He had pulled out of the Test series, citing personal reasons.

In the recently concluded Paktel Cup, Younis Khan acted as a reserve wicketkeeper, and in his first match with the gloves he did not concede a bye and he was awarded Man of the Match for a well-crafted fifty. This effort prompted Bob Woolmer, Pakistan's coach, to suggest Younis could do the job long-term in one-dayer matches.

Another wicketkeeper, Zulqarnain Haider, 18, retains his squad place from the first Test but is unlikely to debut. The Pakistan bowling attack will miss Mohammad Sami, who has a groin strain. His absence may allow Riaz Afridi to play.

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