Mohammad Yousuf, the Pakistan captain, is in talks with Younus Khan over a possible return to the side as they seek their first Test series win in Australia. Younus made himself unavailable for the three-Test series, which starts at the MCG tomorrow, after resigning the captaincy and suffering a lack of form. There were reports that the captain called on his predecessor, a claim that was denied by the cricket board. However, Yousuf admitted to making the call as he felt Pakistan need the experience of Younus to complement the youthful exuberance of his side.
"I called Younus because we have always been good friends and we have played a lot of cricket together," Yousuf said. "I would definitely like to see Younus back in the team as soon as possible because he is a very experienced batsman and the team are missing him. "He has been to Australia before and scored lot of runs there, so I want to see him in the team." Pakistan have never won a Test series on Australian soil but Yousuf is confident of changing that record after a 1-1 draw in New Zealand.
"The fact that we played a close Test series in New Zealand is good for us and I am sure our experienced batsmen like Shoaib Malik and Misbah- ul-Haq will strike their best form soon," he added. "They just need one long innings to get back their confidence. I know my boys can handle such pressure. We are looking forward to some close matches in Australia. "I know my boys can handle such pressure. We are looking forward to some close matches in Australia."
Michael Clarke is confident that the Australia captain Ricky Ponting will be fit to lead out the team tomorrow following an elbow injury. "He is obviously a very tough bloke and cricketer and you would probably have to cut his arm off for him to miss the Boxing Day Test," Clarke said. * PA