Friday, Dec 19, 2003
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In 2001, Shoaib walked out before the first Test of a series in which the honours were shared, ostensibly with an injury but also pursued by questions over the legitimacy of his bowling action.
``I had a rough time last time because of an injury and allegations against me,'' Shoaib said. ``It took me about one year to get over it. What's done is done. The circumstances are different and I'm happy to be back.''
Shoaib said he now concentrated on the accuracy and effectiveness of his bowling, and not on raw pace.
``I'm a more mature bowler,'' he said. ``I concentrate more on line and length now and I'm very sensible.''
The new Kiwi coach John Bracewell, trying to play down the reputation of one of the world's fastest bowlers, said Shoaib was only one member of a broad-based and inexperienced Pakistan attack.
Shoaib was happy to accept that judgment yet he is by far the most experienced of the Pakistan bowlers with 107 wickets from his 28 Tests. Among his bowling partners, Mohammad Sami has 44 wickets from 10 Tests, Shabbir Ahmed 23 from four and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria 62 wickets from 14.
The New Zealand 12 includes seven members of the team dismissed for 73 by Pakistan in Lahore last year, a match in which Shoaib took six for 11.
New Zealand expressed confidence in its ability to contain the Pakistan batsmen.
The teams (from):
Pakistan: Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt.), Taufeeq Umar, Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, Yousuf Youhana, Salim Elahi, Asim Kamal, Younis Khan, Moin Khan, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Danish Kaneria, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Shabbir Ahmed and Umar Gul.
New Zealand: Stephen Fleming (capt.), Mark Richardson, Lou Vincent, Scott Styris, Craig McMillan, Chris Cairns, Jacob Oram, Robbie Hart, Daniel Vettori, Daryl Tuffey and Ian Butler.
Umpires: David Orchard (South Africa) and Steve Davis (Australia).
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