Inzamam likely to miss out
Injured Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq is unlikely to play at his home ground in Multan in the fourth ODI against the West Indies on Wednesday. "My injury has improved but I will make a final decision in the morning," Inzamam said.
Inzamam injured the little finger of his left hand when he dived at cover to stop a full-blooded aerial drive from Marlon Samuels during the third match at Lahore and received three stitches. Apart from Inzamam, Pakistan will be without Mohammad Yousuf, who will stay in Lahore to be with his pregnant wife, and Younis Khan, whose brother recently passed away. Abdul Razzaq, the allrounder, will lead the team if Inzamam pulls out.
The spate of absences has resulted in a recall for Shahid Afridi and Faisal Iqbal, the middle-order batsman. "We have called up Shahid Afridi and Faisal Iqbal and hope that the youngsters take this opportunity and help Pakistan wrap up the series, but for that they will have to work hard," said Inzamam, whose team lead the five-match series 2-0.
Afridi was dropped after the Champions Trophy, the first time in two years for anything other than an injury or suspension. But he has struck a rich vein of form in domestic cricket for Habib Bank and lies third in the bowling averages after five games with 22 wickets at an average of under ten. And despite starting poorly with the bat, he has just hit a 91-ball hundred in the ongoing game against WAPDA, whose attack includes Mushtaq Ahmed and Shabbir Ahmed. He scored a fifty in a low-scoring first-innings total and also picked up three wickets.
Iqbal, 24, has played 17 Tests and ODIs for Pakistan, with a hundred in each form of the game. Though he last played a Test against England this summer - he hit an unbeaten 58 in Pakistan's only innings of the controversial Oval Test - he has not featured in ODI colours since October 2003.
Pakistan won the second match at Faisalabad by a narrow margin of two wickets before recording an emphatic seven-wicket win in the third match in Lahore. The first match was washed out in Rawalpindi.
Bennett King, the West Indies coach, said his team remained motivated despite the fact that they can at best only level the series. "The boys look forward to the fourth match and are determined to make sure they finish this leg of the tour with two wins," King said.
He added that Pakistan's loss of key players was not a factor. "I look at what we have in the team and we need to control Pakistan to win the match and once we go out we will do that rather than thinking of their combination." King also hoped that key batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who has yet to play in the one-day series, would return after recovering from a knee injury.
Pakistan (probable): Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Faisal Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, Rao Iftikhar, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Umar Gul, Abdul Rehman, Danish Kaneria, Mohammad Sami, Yasir Hameed
West Indies (probable): Brian Lara (capt), Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Daren Ganga, Marlon Samuels, Runako Morton, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Dwayne Smith, Denesh Ramdin, Ian Bradshaw, Corey Collymore, Jerome Taylor, Daren Powell, Dave Mohammed