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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007, 10:30 GMT
Inzamam rues missed opportunity
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq
We have won many Tests at home but to be ranked among the best, you have to win overseas

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq says they must learn to win overseas to be rated a top Test side.

His comments followed a 2-1 series loss in South Africa where the home side won the decider by five wickets.

"We have lost a golden opportunity to win a series overseas against a top side. It's one of the biggest disappointments of my career," he said.

In their last six series away from home, Pakistan have won only one - against Sri Lanka last year.

But Inzamam believes there were positives in South Africa, particularly the bowling of seamer Mohamad Asif and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, who took 34 wickets between them.

"Asif has immaculate length control and a natural ability to swing the ball both ways. He is also quick to spot a weakness in batsmen and work on it.

"Kaneria has improved his bowling and has the ability to take 500 Test wickets," Inzamam commented.

Former skipper Imran Khan agreed with the assessment of Asif's progress, saying: "Asif is well on his way to become one of the greats.

"If he gains a little bit of pace through weight training he can be more lethal."

Asif's 19 wickets against South Africa have lifted him to eighth in the LG ICC Test player rankings after only nine appearances - equalling the record for the fewest matches taken by a Pakistan bowler to reach the top 10, shared by Waqar Younis and Pervez Sajjad.

Imran criticised team management, however, over the batting order used in the series with Mohammad Yousuf at number five and Inzamam at six.

"Yousuf is the best batsman alongside Australian Ricky Ponting at the moment, but how many times has Ponting batted below three? Ponting always leads from the front," he said.

Inzamam, meanwhile, has been ordered to rest for five or six days after leaving the field with a back spasm during the final day's play in Cape Town.

He is therefore likely to miss the Twenty20 international in Johannesburg on Friday but hopes to be fit for the start of the best of five one-day series two days later.

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