Out of injury, Kaneria gearing up for second Test

Danish Kaneria is taking heart from his happy memories attached to the Sydney ground where he is all set for a comeback for the 2nd Test against Australia.

updated: January 01, 2010 09:02 IST
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Having recovered from a finger injury, leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is taking heart from his happy memories attached to the Sydney ground where he is all set for a comeback to the Pakistan team for the second Test against Australia commencing from Sunday.

Kaneria put up fine performance and claimed 15 wickets, including eight in Sydney, during Pakistan's last tour Down Under five years ago when the hosts clinched the series 3-0.

"It's all upon me - how do I bowl and how do I perform. It's a big challenge for me to come back to Australia and play again the Aussie side. It's a challenging series in Australia all the time. I can't say that Australia don't play spin that well," said Kaneria, who missed the first Test due to the injury.

Besides, Pakistan's last Test win over Australia also came at Sydney in 1995 with spinner duo of Mushtaq Ahmed and Saqlain Mushtaq starring in the match.

Kaneria told that he was confident of revitalising his team in Sydney where Pakistan has two wins in the past as the pitch traditionally has plenty in it for the slow bowlers.

"I will try my level best to do something to help us win in Sydney and try to keep up the expectation of the captain and my team. If I can contribute myself, it will be a very good sign for the team," Kaneria said.

His fellow spinner, Saeed Ajmal sent down 69 overs in Melbourne but could bag just two wickets - one in each innings - for 223 runs.

"I don't think they (Australians) play spin badly. They have started to play spin better and more professionally," said Kaneria, who was Pakistan's leading bowler in 2009, claiming 25 wickets in just five Tests.

On the recent tour of New Zealand, the leg spinner took 13 wickets in two Tests helping Pakistan win by 141 runs in Wellington as the three-match series was drawn 1-1.

Kaneria has taken 245 wickets in 56 Tests and recently passed Abdul Qadir as the most prolific spinner the country has seen. Qadir took 236 wickets in 67 Tests.

The 29-year-old said said an injury to ring finger kept him out of the Boxing day Test and he was disappointed to miss the opportunity to play before such a big crowd.

"The injury was in the ring finger of the right hand I got injured 18 months ago in England. I fractured it and while playing a domestic game in Pakistan once more I got hit on it. Then in the practice, I got badly hit taking a catch," Kaneria said.

"I was almost playing in Melbourne but at the last moment the doctor and myself made the decision that I was not fully fit," he added.