DateLine: 24th December 2009
Pakistani paceman Mohammad Sami justified his recall with a burst of six wickets in the final of the country's premier tournament Wednesday, but former captain Younus Khan struggled to impress.
Sami, 28, has been summoned as a replacement to complement Pakistan's pace attack for the Test series against Australia, and finished with 6-38 to help the Karachi Blues win the first class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy title.
Sami flies to Australia later Wednesday for the first of three Tests starting in Melbourne from Saturday, and was upbeat about his comeback.
"I am confident my recent form will help me in Australia and from there I am able to revive my career," said Sami, who played the last of his 33 Tests at Bangalore against India two years ago.
"We have a very good side and if we play to our potential then we can give a tough fight to Australia and also have the capability to beat them on their grounds," he added.
Sami had joined the unofficial Indian Cricket League and was banned from all forms of cricket by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in early 2008.
Earlier this year, Sami and all other ICL players were pardoned by the PCB after they presented no-objection certificates from the league, enabling them to stage a comeback at international level.
"Fast bowlers can excel in Australia provided they stick to the basics and I have played there before in 2004 so I know how to bowl there," said Sami, who joins Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Mohammad Aamir and Abdur Rauf in the pace attack.
While Sami sparkled, Younus managed scores of seven and four for Habib Bank in the final -- showing no signs of improvement in his declining form which prompted him to withdraw from the tour of New Zealand last month.
Younus, 32, managed just 22 runs in the three-match one-day series against the Black Caps in the United Arab Emirates last month. He took a break from the game to regain his form in a bid to return to international cricket.
Younus also stepped down as captain, arguing he had "lost command" of the side, and was not considered for the current tour of Australia. Mohammad Yousuf took over as skipper.
(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)
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