Recalled Arshad Khan ready for India challenge
by AFP

Player:Arshad Khan, Saqlain Mushtaq
Event:Pakistan in India 2004/05

DateLine: 20th February 2005


Off-spinner Arshad Khan vowed to live up to the expectations of selectors following his recall after five years for Pakistan's tour of India.


"It would not be an easy task to bowl against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and others, but I am a mature cricketer and ready to take up the challenge," Khan told AFP on Saturday.


Khan was summoned as a reinforcement before the last Test during Pakistan's last tour to India in 1999 but did not play.


He featured in the tri-series one-day tournament on that tour and was also part of the team which played in a one-day tournament in India in 1997.


"I know Tendulkar, Dravid, Sourav Ganguly are great batsmen but I have my guile and would try my best to come up trumps."


The 34-year-old, who played the last of his eight Tests against England at Faisalabad in 2000, will bolster a Pakistan attack depleted by the loss of three frontline bowlers, Shoaib Akhtar, Shabbir Ahmed and Umar Gul, due to injuries.


"I knew that my good performances at domestic level will earn me a a place. Despite losing interest last year, I was motivated by friends to continue striving for a place in the team," said Khan, who will supplement Pakistan's spin attack with leg-spinner Danish Kaneria.


"I have never bowled against Tendulkar but have bowled at Dravid and others so I am not afraid of their run scoring abilities."


Khan led Peshawar's attack and with 39 wickets he guided his team to the country's premier Quaid-e-Azam tournament title last month.


"Once I helped my team win the trophy I was sure my name will be considered for the India tour," said Khan, who has taken 30 wickets in Tests and 44 in 48 one-day matches.


He remained in the shadow of wily contemporary Saqlain Mushtaq who was discarded after he failed to get a single wicket against India in the Multan Test last year.


Saqlain was not considered for selection this time as he was recuperating following knee operations earlier in the year.


"Saqlain has been a great bowler and that's why I had to play a second fiddle but now it's my chance and I am ready to grab it."

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)