December 23, 2011

Ex-Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram says fitness of Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan is bound to crease Dhoni’s forehead.

With the Indian camp keeping fitness updates on its fast bowlers Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma under wraps, former speedster Wasim Akram says conditions in Melbourne will reveal chinks in the Indian armoury on Day 1 itself.

Speaking exclusively to Mobile ESPN from Karachi on Friday, Akram feels MS Dhoni will be a worried man because his two spearheads, Zaheer and Ishant, are yet to give him positive vibes ahead of the Boxing Day Test.

“Whoever is carrying an injury or niggles is surely going to be exposed at MCG. The wickets are hard and the outfield very demanding. Hence everyone has to be in peak fitness. The news from the Indian camp doesn’t seem to be very convincing at this stage,” Akram said.

The former Pakistan skipper, who will be part of the high profile ESPN-STAR Sports commentary team Down Under, is not convinced about the “bowling fitness” of the Indian pace attack.

“Until and unless you bowl 15-20 overs in a practice game and do rigorous nets, you are not fit enough to go into a Test match. I am not sure whether Ishant and Zaheer have done that in the warm-up games,” said Akram.

While Ishant has bowled a little over nine overs in five days of practice games, Zaheer has bowled a total of 15 (10 + 5) over two innings. This is not enough, according to Akram.

“MCG wickets are so hard that they will take a toll on your body joints, especially the back, groin and ankle. You cannot afford to go into a series-opening Test match with 90 per cent fitness,” warned Akram.

By Soumitra Bose
Courtesy: ESPN STAR



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