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January 25, 2006
Inzamam-ul-Haq has said his sore back has been troubling him for a while but is hopeful of playing in the final Test at Karachi, beginning in three days' time. On course to his third successive hundred at Faisalabad, Inzamam first retired hurt and then batted with a runner on the second day. He didn't take the field for the final two days.
"My back has been hurting for quite a while," he added, "There are three days left. I'm taking treatment from the doctor and physio and am hopeful that I can be fit enough for the Test." His absence had paved the way for Younis Khan to lead the side and Inzamam had a few good things to say about the on-field tactics. "I think Younis captained very well," he continued. "He changed the bowlers around and set good fields. But on this wicket, it was tough to get a well-set batsmen out. We managed five wickets but Dhoni and Irfan batted well."
Inzamam defended Pakistan's decision to not declare, saying that they didn't have the required safety net. "At lunch we had 58 overs left and the score was around 237. If we had more than 300, there was a chance of us declaring. But it was tough to declare on such a track without any help."
He echoed Rahul Dravid's sentiments with regard to the quality of the pitches, and hinted at the sort of pitch that one might get to see in Karachi. "The previous two series had good pitches, and especially in Pakistan we had quick wickets. We were hoping for some help for the fast bowlers. Hopefully in Karachi, where the weather is fine, we will get to see a good pitch." He wasn't too harsh on his bowlers and felt that they had managed a better line and length here compared to what they had done at Lahore.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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