Inzy looking to exploit Sachin's absence

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq feels the absence of Sachin Tendulkar will work to his team's advantage in the crucial clash against India.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq feels the absence of Sachin Tendulkar will work to the advantage of his team in the crucial clash against India in the Champions Trophy cricket tournament. "Tendulkar is a great player and his absence would always imply advantage to the opposition, it would be no different for us," said Inzamam after his side rolled past Kenya by seven wickets at Edgbaston on Wednesday. The clash on Sunday was uppermost in the mind of Inzamam who said it prompted him to choose to field against Kenya. "We wanted to be through before rain interfered, also we wanted to keep the run-rate in mind," said Inzamam as both his goals were achieved in style. Pakistan chased the victory target of 95 in 18.4 overs, which has given them a better run-rate than India, a factor which could come in play should rain intervene. Cause for cheer Another cause for cheer for the Pakistan skipper was the form of his two spinners -- Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi -- who took eight Kenyan wickets between them and ran through the opposition. Inzamam said the spin option would also come handy for his team against the Indians. "We have a good pace attack and now the spinners too have come into the picture," said Inzamam. "All of them could be match-winners on their day." Shahid Afridi, man of the match against Kenya for his haul of 5 for 11, said he was looking forward to bowling against India. "I have had good success with the ball and would like to do my best against India, like the success I had against them in Amsterdam," said the flamboyant player. Afridi turned up good figures against India and virtually gutted them, along with Shoaib Malik, in the tri-series in Amsterdam last month. Captaincy woes Kenyan captain Steve Tikolo, meanwhile, hinted he would quit captaincy once he is back home after the Champions Trophy. "I will still be playing for Kenya, but it is time some younger player takes over the responsibility and does what he can for Kenyan cricket," said Tikolo. Tikolo said another international assignment for Kenya would only come in the next mini World Cup in 2006, in between there are no engagements scheduled for his country. (PTI)