Pak to retain same side for 2nd Test, selectors differ

Pakistan selectors are considering playing Mohammad Talha in the second Test against SL even though coach Intikhab Alam has hinted at retaining the squad.

updated: February 27, 2009 12:20 IST
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Pakistan selectors are considering playing rookie fast bowler Mohammad Talha in the second Test against Sri Lanka even though coach Intikhab Alam has hinted at retaining the same 12 for the match starting in Lahore on Sunday.

"There is no need for changes because I think the players did a remarkable job in the first Test after Sri Lanka made over 600 runs. I think the effort to take five wickets in the second innings was also top class," Alam said on Friday.

However, selectors have other ideas and are planning to drop fast bowler Sohail Khan, who went wicketless in the first Test, and play Talha who has had a very good domestic season.

The tall scores posted in the first Test in Karachi may have set a host of records but the drab encounter didn't do any good for the game with everyone criticising the pitch.

Alam, though, hoped the track in Lahore would be better and said it looked firm and had some bounce.

"I think it is a better track but let us see what happens," he said.

The former Pakistan skipper said the same 12 was retained because they could handle any conditions.

"I think we did get the psychological edge in the first Test by taking a first innings lead and then taking five Sri Lankan wickets on the final day," Alam said adding that the second Test should be a good contest with both wanting to play positive cricket and force a result.

Meanwhile, the Punjab police and Pakistan board have taken stringent security measures for the second Test in the backdrop of violent protests all over the country over the Supreme Court's ruling against Sharif brothers -- Nawaz and Shahbaz.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz was barred from contesting elections and his sibling's reign as Punjab chief minister was declared "null and void".