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Last Updated: Monday, 9 January 2006, 09:14 GMT
Pakistan recall Farhat for India
Imran Farhat
Farhat looked in good form against the Indians in Lahore
Pakistan have recalled opener Imran Farhat and seamer Mohammad Asif for the first Test against India in Lahore.

Farhat and Asif, both 23, last played in the Test team in the series against Australia a year ago, with Farhat more likely to make the XI on Friday.

He hit a century against the tourists on Sunday and earned his place after Yasir Hameed was struck by typhoid.

Pakistan also welcome back all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who missed the Tests against England with an elbow problem.

Shahid Afridi, who was banned for the last of those games in Lahore for damaging the pitch, is also back but the selection of Farhat is the most interesting.

The left-hander, who was not in the 18-man preliminary squad, has struggled to hold down a regular place as Pakistan chop and change in a bid to find a stable opening pairing.

Farhat has shown good form and deserves his place
Chief selector Wasim Bari

Salman Butt was impressive against England but his partner, off-spinning all-rounder Shoaib Malik, was far from convincing.

Hameed was in line to partner Butt in Lahore but his illness has opened the door again for Farhat, who averages only just over 30 in his 15 Tests.

His father-in-law, former Test player Mohammad Illyas, had blamed coach Bob Woolmer when he was dropped after the Australia series.

But chief selector Wasim Bari said: "We have maintained consistency. Farhat has shown good form and deserves his place so he is back - there are no other things which keep a player out of the team.

"Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, Woolmer and the selection committee are doing their work honestly and results prove that."

Batsman Asim Kamal, seamer Umar Gul and the uncapped Rifatullah Mohmand were overlooked after being named in the preliminary squad.


Pakistan squad: Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Asif, Danish Kaneria, Arshad Khan.




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