Shoaib Malik fighting to get fully fit

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

KARACHI: Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said on Tuesday he is trying to get fully fit ahead of Monday’s opening one-dayer against Zimbabwe, adding that he would sit out of the series if unsure about his own fitness.

“I will not play in the series, if I’m not fully fit,”
said Malik, who is yet to fully recover from an ankle injury that forced him to sit out of the last two Tests against India in Kolkata and Bangalore.

Malik is supposed to lead Pakistan in the five-match ODI series against Zimbabwe but is facing a race against time to get fully fit.
“I’m training hard and am hopeful of playing in the series,”
he said after attending a series of sessions at a conditioning camp that got underway in Lahore on Tuesday.
“But let’s see what happens.”

Malik, 25, was among the 23 players who attended training sessions at the National Cricket Academy held under the supervision of team coach Geoff Lawson. David Dwyer, the team’s physical trainer, carried out fitness tests of the participating players.

Malik said that he is hoping his young team would give a good show in the forthcoming series.
“We have some good youngsters who are likely to play in the series and I’m expecting positive results from them.”

Pakistan will field a few second string pacers in the series in the absence of their leading fast bowlers but Malik said that it would not hurt the hosts.
“Bowlers like Sohail Tanvir and Rao Ifikhar are good performers and I’m sure they will do well in the series.”

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