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India in Pakistan 2006 Series Schedule Discuss More

Test and ODI venues

Arrival - 1 Jan 2006 Lahore
Practice Match - Jan 7 to 9 v Pakistan A, Lahore at Lahore

First Test - Jan 13 to 17 Lahore
Second Test - Jan 21 to 25 Faisalabad
Third Test - Jan 29 to Feb 2 Karachi First ODI - Feb 6 Peshawar
Second ODI - Feb 11 Rawalpindi
Third ODI - Feb 13 Lahore
Fourth ODI - Feb 16 Multan
Fifth ODI - Feb 19 Karachi

India Pakistan Cricket Series 2006 News

India wraps up series 4-1

India's Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Dhoni shared a breath-taking stand of 146 to clinch an eight-wicket win over Pakistan in the final one-day game. Yuvraj made an unbeaten 107 from 93 balls and Dhoni (77no) hit four sixes in the final three overs to reach a target of 287 with 19 balls remaining.
Pakistan looked well set after Mohammad Yousuf (67) and Younis Khan (74no) took them to 286-8 in Karachi. Sri Sreesanth took a career-best 4-58, including three wickets in three overs.
India captain Rahul Dravid hit 50 in reply, becoming the eighth batsman to pass 9,000 one-day international runs.
Fifth one-day international, Karachi: India 287-2 (46.5 overs) beat Pakistan 286-8 (50 overs) by eight wickets

India beat Pakistan to win series; 3-1

India produced a sublime bowling and fielding performance to set up a five-wicket series winning win over Pakistan in the fourth one-day international.
Pakistan were bundled out for just 161, with Rudra Pratap Singh taking 4-40. Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq hit 49 but the other batsmen were poor and India reached their target in the 33rd over despite a mid-innings collapse.
It was a day when the bowlers were in better form than the batsmen and after India won the toss, all their seamers found a good line and length from the off. Within 13 overs, four batsmen had been dismissed, including Younis Khan for a golden duck - lbw to Pratap Singh. The same bowler removed Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat and Abdul Razzaq for low scores but Pakistan were given some encouragement with a 68-run stand between Inzamam and Mohammad Yousuf.
India's batsmen were keen to reach the target quickly, playing around Dravid's typically composed innings of 59. Tendulkar and the out-of-form Mohammad Kaif fell for ducks but young left-hander Suresh Raina gave a masterclass in the off-drive to finish with 35 not out off 34 balls.
Fourth one-day international, Multan: India 162-5 beat Pakistan 161 by five wickets

Inzamam backs injury-hit Pakistan

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq is backing his injury-hit side to have enough firepower to level the one-day series against India on Thursday.
India won the last two matches to lead 2-1 so Pakistan need a win in Inzamam's home town Multan to stay in touch.
The hosts are without front-line bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi for the rest of the series.
Paceman Umar Gul is also a doubt with a back injury and Pakistan have drafted Mohammad Sami and Rao Iftikhar into the squad.
Meanwhile, Inzamam's opposite number Rahul Dravid has injury problems of his own ahead of the clash at the Multan Stadium.
Opening batsman Virender Sehwag and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh have flown home and spinning all-rounder Ramesh Powar was brought in last week.
Pakistan (from): Inzamam-ul-Haq (Captain), Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Arshad Khan, Salman Butt, Rana Naved, Imran Farhat, Faisal Iqbal, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif, Yasir Arafat, Rao Iftikhar, Mohammad Sami.
India (from): Rahul Dravid (Captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Sri Sreesanth, Murli Kartik, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Rudra Pratap Singh, Ramesh Powar.
Umpires: Steve Bucknor (West Indies), Asad Rauf (Pakistan).

Afridi adds to Pakistan problems

Pakistan's hopes of saving the one-day series with India have been dealt a blow with Shahid Afridi ruled out of the remaining two games through injury.
The all-rounder injured his ribs when he slipped over in a bathroom before Monday's loss in Lahore, which gave India a 2-1 series lead. Afridi appeared in the match, scoring 18, but could bowl only three overs. PCB cricket director Saleem Altaf said: "He has bruising around his rib cage and is required to rest."
Pakistan are already missing strike bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who was ruled out of the series on Sunday after missing the first two matches with an ankle injury. Mohammad Sami was drafted into the squad as cover for Akhtar but no replacement has been announced for Afridi. The fourth match of the series will be played in Multan on Thursday with Karachi hosting the final game on Sunday.

India takes lead at Lahore, Series 2-1

India produced a thrilling batting display to beat Pakistan in the third one-day international and take a 2-1 series lead in the five-match series. Sachin Tendulkar (95), Yuvraj Singh (79*) and Mahendra Dhoni (72*) all hit half-centuries as the tourists reached a target of 289 in Lahore with 14 balls remaining.
India won the toss and chose to insert the hosts, who hit 288-8 thanks to Shoaib Malik (108) and Abdul Razzaq. Irfan Pathan (49-3) and Rudra Pratap Singh (51-3) each took three wickets.
Third one-day international, Lahore: India 292-5 beat Pakistan 288-8 by five wickets

Pakistan looking to bounce back

Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq is confident Pakistan can make amends for their mauling in Rawalpindi when they face India in Monday's third one-dayer.
The teams go to Lahore level at 1-1 in the five-game series after India's seven-wicket triumph on Saturday. Inzamam will have to do without paceman Shoaib Akhtar, who is out with an ankle injury, but he remains upbeat. The Indians have a concern of their own, with off-spinner Harbhajan Singh again doubtful with an injured finger. Without him, his team claimed their first win of the tour in Peshawar when they chased a target of 266 with consummate ease. Captain Rahul Dravid was buoyed by the performance but is refusing to get carried away.
Pakistan (from): Inzamam-ul Haq (Captain), Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Imran Farhat, Faisal Iqbal, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Arshad Khan, Yasir Arafat, Mohammad Asif.
India (from): Rahul Dravid (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Shanathakumaran Sreesanth, Murali Kartik, Harbhajan Singh, Ramesh Powar.

Shoaib to miss series remainder

Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has been ruled out of the remaining three one-day internationals of the five-match series against India.
Shoaib's ankle injury was thought to have recovered in time for him to make Sunday's match after he had missed the first two games in the series. Shoaib performed brilliantly against England before Christmas but the ankle injury cropped up in the early part of the Test series against India. He was not at his most effective in those matches, which were played on wickets that favoured batsmen, but tried his heart out.

Cricket fans cause border chaos

Indian riot police were called to restore order after about 3,000 cricket fans caused chaos at the Wagah border crossing between India and Pakistan.
Several fans were hurt, one seriously, in the crush as people flocked to Monday's one-day match in Lahore. Fans stormed the immigration building, causing staff to flee. Riot police took three hours to restore order. Officials were unable to cope with demand but later opened extra counters allowing all fans to cross the border. India Cricket Live

India cruise to win, Series 1-1

Yuvraj Singh hit a superb unbeaten 82 to guide India to a seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in the second one-day international in Rawalpindi. Shoaib Malik (95) and Younis Khan (81 not out) were the mainstays in the hosts' 265 all out off 49.2 overs.
But Virender Sehwag, with a blistering 67, and Sachin Tendulkar (42) put on 105 to give India a flying start. Dravid (56) and Yuvraj then added 118 as the tourists levelled the series with almost seven overs to spare. It was India's first victory on this tour - they lost the Tests 1-0 - and did some repair work to a poor record of 11 defeats in 16 one-dayers to their neighbours.
Man of the Match: Irfan Pathan (3-43)
Second one-day international, Rawalpindi: India 266-3 bt Pakistan 265 by seven wickets
India Cricket Live

Powar joins India one-day squad

India have brought off-spinning all-rounder Ramesh Powar into their squad for the one-dayers in Pakistan as cover for Harbhajan Singh.
Harbhajan is struggling with the finger injury which forced him to miss the opening defeat in Peshawar on Monday. Powar, 27, played in two one-dayers on India's 2004 trip and although he failed to take a wicket, impressed with his control and combative approach. A consistent performer domestically, Powar is a handy lower-order batsman. The second one-dayer will be played in Rawalpindi on Saturday with India looking to bounce back after their seven-run loss under the Duckworth/Lewis rule. Left-armer Murali Kartik stood in for Harbhajan in Peshawar but conceded 64 runs in nine overs and was hit for three big sixes by Shoaib Malik. India Cricket Live

Inzamam finds new ways to get out.

Inzamam-ul-Haq out for obstructing the field in the win over India in the first one-dayer.
Inzamam deflected a throw from Suresh Raina aimed at the stumps with his bat and was unhappy at the decision.
The umpire can give a batsman out if he feels the batter has got in the way of a fielder who is about to take a catch or attempt a run-out.
But the obstruction has to be seen to be a deliberate act to be given out. This is a very uncommon method of dismissal hardly ever seen in club or international cricket. However Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq was controversially dismissed in this fashion during Pakistan's one-day international against India in Peshawar. The Pakistani batsman was out of his crease when he "defended" Suresh Raina's throw at the stumps from the outfield. The Indian fielders rightly appealed and Inzamam was given his marching orders, much to his chagrin.
Inzamam-ul-Haq is only the third batsman to be dismissed obstructing the field in ODIs.
Rameez Raja was the first, against England at Karachi in 1987-88. He suffered the agony of being dismissed on 99, when he hit the ball with his bat to avoid being run out while attempting a second run to complete his hundred off the final ball of the match.
Mohinder Amarnath was the second, when he kicked the ball away from the bowler to prevent being run out, against Sri Lanka at Ahmedabad in 1989-90. India Cricket Live

Pakistan won First ODI by 7 runs (D/L Method)

Pakistan won the first One Day International at Peshawar in a closely contested match. Salman Butt scored 101 and Shoaib Malik 90 as Pakistan reached 311 for 7 wickets in 47 overs against India's 328 All out in 49.4 overs.
Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar bounced back to form with 100 to pass 14,000 runs in one-dayers with his 39th century. He put on 94 and 126 with Irfan Pathan (65) and Mahendra Dhoni (68 off 53) but Rana Naved-ul-Hasan (4-62) and Mohammad Asif (3-30) sparked a late collapse. The tourists lost Virender Sehwag soon after being put in but Tendulkar, who struggled as India lost the Tests 1-0, made his 39th one-day ton in Peshawar.
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan (4-62) and Mohammad Asif (3-30) mopped up the tail but India's total was a ground record.
First one-day international, Peshawar: Pakistan 311-7 bt India 328 by seven runs (D/L rule)

Pakistan aim for one-day success

Pakistan have captain Inzamam-ul-Haq back and are aiming to grab the number two spot in the world rankings as they begin the one-day series against India.
Pakistan have won 10 of 15 one-day matches against India, and eight of their last 10, with Inzaman as captain. The home team will probably need a 4-1 series win to leapfrog South Africa, who are currently playing in the VB Series in Australia. They start as favourites before a sell-out crowd of 15,000 at the Arbab Niaz stadium for the first international match in the north-western border city for two years.
Pakistan will take confidence from their 341-run win in Karachi, which handed them their first Test series win over India for 19 years. Faisal Iqbal, who hit his maiden Test century in that match, has been rewarded with a place in the squad for the one-day series. All-rounder Shoaib Malik returns after a family bereavement and promising youngster Yasir Arafat is in the squad.
India may miss off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who injured a finger while fielding in the Karachi Test.

Iqbal picked for one-day series

Pakistan's selectors have rewarded batsman Faisal Iqbal for his maiden Test century in Karachi with a place in the squad for the one-day series.
Iqbal's 139 helped Pakistan beat India in the Tests and the player can now help them repeat that success over the same opposition in the one-dayers. Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria and paceman Mohammad Sami are omitted from the 16-member squad, however.
The first of five matches is scheduled for next Monday in Peshawar. Kaneria and Sami have been regular members of the Test and one-day squads. The selectors have found places for two all-rounders, Shoaib Malik and Yasir Arafat. Malik returns after missing the final Test due to a family bereavement, while Arafat is a promising youngster who played against England.
Squad: Inzamam-ul-Haq (Captain), Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Arshad Khan, Salman Butt, Rana Naved, Imran Farhat, Faisal Iqbal, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif, Yasir Arafat.

Tendulkar under fire after heavy defeat

Dismayed Indian fans launched a rare attack on their favourite player Sachin Tendulkar yesterday, a day after India suffered a crushing defeat by Pakistan.
The hosts romped to victory by 341 runs with a day to spare, routing their traditional rivals for one run short of their worst ever defeat in runs to win the series. Players are normally under tremendous pressure to win due to the decades-old political animosity between the two nations. With tensions easing, the focus was solely on cricket. Debates in the Indian media were aimed at the failure of the formidable batting line-up after the first two Tests in Lahore and Faisalabad ended in high-scoring draws. Youngster Yuvraj Singh hit a defiant 122 in the second innings, but none of the other players managed fifty in the game. "Tendulkar is over the hill. He should quit and other youngsters should take over," lawyer Sandeep George said. "Tendulkar should go because he has lost his touch," engineer Vijay Ramaiah said. "The more he plays, he will become a liability to the country and himself." The collapse only added to concerns that India's middle-order batsmen Tendulkar, captain Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly and Vangipurappu Laxman were all past 30.

Pakistan stun India to win series at Karachi

It was India's second heaviest defeat by a runs margin in their Test history. Pakistan began the day on 511-5 in their secoing innings and added 88 runs in quick time before stopping their innings.
It was India's second heaviest defeat by a runs margin in their Test history. Pakistan began the day on 511-5 in their secoing innings and added 88 runs in quick time before stopping their innings.
Third Test, Karachi, day four: Pakistan 245 & 599-7d beat India 238 & 265 by 341 runs

Pakistan pile on misery for India

India will have to bat the best part of two days to draw the series in Pakistan after the hosts dominated the finale in Karachi for the third consecutive day. Pakistan ended on 511-5, to lead by 518, with Faisal Iqbal completing his maiden Test century just before stumps.
The pitch has flattened out considerably since 14 wickets fell on the first day, with little assistance for the bowlers. Younis and Yousuf set the tone for the day by notching up their fourth century partnership of the series, and looked set to add to their tally of two hundreds apiece when they took Pakistan to lunch on 270-2. Kumble removed them both with straightish deliveries, although Yousuf had the consolation of moving to fourth on the list of Pakistan run-scorers.
The world record for a successful fourth-innings chase is the 418 West Indies made to beat Australia in Antigua in 2003, while the highest at the National Stadium is the 315 Pakistan got against the Aussies in 1994.
Third Test, Karachi, day three (close): Pakistan 245 & 511 -5 v India 238

India struggling to keep pace; Pak leads by 180

Pakistan bowled India out seven runs behind on first innings on day two of the third Test in Karachi to keep the series in the balance.Mohammad Asif finished with 4-78 as India were stopped on 238, with no batsman passing 50. Sourav Ganguly (34) and Yuvraj Singh (45) were part of a morning collapse but Irfan Pathan (40) shared a 56-run ninth-wicket stand with Zaheer Khan. Pathan made a patient start before cutting loose, with six fours and a six off Shoaib, before getting a leading edge off spinner Shahid Afridi to long-on.
Pakistani openers made 109 before Salman Butt was lbw'd by Ganguly for 53. Imran Farhat put on 57.
Third Test, Karachi, day two (close): Pakistan 245 & 173-2 v India 238

Dramatic reversals in Karachi test after Pathan hat-trick

Pakistan hit back from 39-6 to post 245 and reduce India to 74-4 on a dramatic first day of the final Test in Karachi.
Irfan Pathan (5-61) took a hat-trick in the first over, the first bowler to do so, but Kamran Akmal struck a brilliant 113 to lead his side to respectability. Pathan had Salman Butt caught at first slip by Rahul Dravid, trapped Younis Khan lbw and bowled Mohammad Yousuf with another big inswinger.
India's batsmen soon ran into problems of their own as Asif and Shoaib found plenty of seam movement to remove Dravid and Sehwag with only 14 on the board. Pakistan: Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Younis Khan (Captain), Mohammad Yousuf, Faisal Iqbal, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (Wicket Keeper), Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Danish Kaneria
India: V Sehwag, R Dravid (Captain), V V S Laxman, S R Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, S C Ganguly, M S Dhoni (Wicket Keeper), I K Pathan, Z Khan, R P Singh, A Kumble
Third Test, Karachi, day one (close): Pakistan 245 v India 74-4

Younis Shines in Drawn Match

Younis Khan secured his fourth hundred in his last four games against India, getting out at 194, after sharing a 242 run partnership with Mohammad Yousuf (126) as Pakistan scored 480. Pakistan's innings ended with eight wickets down as Inzamam was suffering back trouble and Shoaib Malik went home after the death of his father.
The sides set a new mark for sixes in a match, with 27, in compiling the seventh-highest runs aggregate in a Test match ever, with 1,702.
And Dhoni bowled an over, giving away 13 runs.
Laxman and Dravid took India to 21 for 0, before the match ended. The third and final Test begins in Karachi on Sunday.
Second Test, Faisalabad: Pakistan 588 & 480 drew with India 603 & 21-0

Pakistan extends lead in Faisalabad

Younis Khan struck his second fifty of the match as Pakistan reached 152-1 at stumps on day four of the second Test against India, a lead of 137. He shared an unbroken 100 with Kamran Akmal.
Earlier Mahendra Dhoni extended his maiden Test century to 144 in a stand of 210 with Irfan Pathan. Pathan fell 10 short of a first hundred but a Harbhajan Singh cameo ensured a first innings lead of 15 for India.
Second Test, Faisalabad, day four (close): Pakistan 588 & 152-1 v India 603

Dhoni's maiden century carry India to safety

India wicket-keeper Mahendra Dhoni struck a superb maiden Test century as his team recovered to 441-5, 147 behind Pakistan at stumps on day three. Rahul Dravid recorded his second successive hundred and took his second wicket partnership with VVS Laxman to 197, an Indian record in Pakistan.
However, four wickets fell for 45 in 11 overs after lunch and as Dhoni came in 107 were needed to save the follow-on. Dhoni hit some fierce strokes in an unbroken 160 stand with Irfan Pathan.
Second Test, Faisalabad, day three (close): Pakistan 588 v India 441-5

India chase 588 in Faisalabad

Shahid Afridi and Inzamam-ul-Haq both hit centuries as Pakistan posted 588 in the second Test in Faisalabad. India made a confident reply but were still 478 behind on 110-1 after day two, with Rahul Dravid 26 not out.
Despite a bad back, Inzamam (119) hit his 25th Test ton, passing India coach Greg Chappell to move to 10th all-time. Afridi, on 85 overnight, cut loose in a career-best innings of 156 from 128 balls, with 20 fours and six sixes. Debutant Rudra Pratap Singh had Razzaq caught behind to end with figures of 4-89.
Sehwag, who began dangerously, edged Abdul Razzaq to second slip to fall for 31.
Second Test, Faisalabad, day two (stumps): Pakistan 588 v India 110-1

Pakistanis make India suffer

Pakistan overcame Rudra Pratap Singh's impressive debut for India to set about building another big score on day one of the second Test in Faisalabad.
Left-armer Pratap Singh took three wickets, including dangermen Younis Khan (83) and Mohammad Yousuf (65). But captain Inzamam-ul-Haq (79no) and Shahid Afridi put on an unbeaten 163 from 193 balls for fifth wicket.
Second Test, Faisalabad, day one (stumps): Pakistan 379-4 v India

Ganguly dropped, as Pakistan bats in Faisalabad

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first in the second Test against India in Faisalabad.
Pakistan dropped seam bowlers Rana Naved and Mohammad Sami for all-rounder Abdul Razzaq and Mohammad Asif. India opted for five bowlers, with Zaheer Khan and RP Singh coming in for Sourav Ganguly and Ajit Agarkar.
Pakistan (Playing XI) Inzamam-ul Haq (Captain), S Butt, S Malik, Y Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, S Afridi, K Akmal, S Akhtar, A Razzaq, D Kaneria, Mohammad Asif.
India (Playing XI) R Dravid (Captain), Vi Sehwag, VVS Laxman, S Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, M Dhoni, I Pathan, Z Khan, RP Singh, A Kumble, Harbhajan Singh.

Weather worry for Faisalabad Test

Pakistan and India may struggle to force a result in the second Test in Faisalabad after the groundsman said poor weather was making his task tough. There was bright sunshine in the central Punjab town on Thursday but cold and wet weather has been forecast for the start of the game on Saturday.
Cold and wet conditions in northern Pakistan led to a lifeless wicket, bringing 1,089 runs for only eight wickets in the drawn match. The Iqbal Stadium wicket has traditionally favoured batsmen, with 12 of the 23 Tests there having ended in draws.
Pakistan have won six Tests and lost five. India lost at the venue in 1982 during Pakistan's 3-0 series win but drew three other matches, including the last one in 1989, when a 16-year-old Sachin Tendulkar made his first Test half-century.
India coach Greg Chappell will also have fond memories of the ground where he made 235 not out as Australian captain in 1979 during another high-scoring draw. In November, England wriggled out of a tight situation in a weather-hit game when they slumped to 164-6 in their second innings, while chasing a target of 285. If this Test also ends in a stalemate the series will go down to the third and final Test, beginning in Karachi on 29 January. India Cricket Live

India pair fail to set new record

Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid were unable to set a new world record opening stand in Tests on the final day of the drawn first Test in Lahore. Sehwag fell for 254 as India came off for bad light on 410-1 on a final day in which just 14 balls had been bowled. Sehwag was caught off the seamer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan with the score on 410 and the match ended soon afterwards. The pair were an agonising three runs short of the 50-year-old record established by two of their countrymen. In 1956, Indian openers Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy put on 413 against New Zealand. Pakistan declared at 679-7 in their first innings - and with Sehwag and Dravid finding batting so easy the match had been written off as a draw. But after most of the final day had been lost to rain, the Indian pair agreed to bat in bad light
First Test, Lahore, day five Pakistan 679-7d drew with India 410-1
India Cricket Live

Sehwag and Dravid near World Record

Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid were closing in on the world record opening partnership in the first Test against Pakistan before bad light stopped play. The current Test record stands at 413, set by India's Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy against New Zealand in 1955-56.
Sehwag (247) and Dravid (128) had advanced to 403-0 at the close on day four of the first Test, needing to reach 480 to avoid the follow-on.
Sehwag hit the second fastest double century in Test history in 182 balls.
First Test, Lahore, day four (close): Pakistan 679-7d; India 403-0
India Cricket Live

Sehwag 96*, Rain, Light stops play

Just 15 overs were possible on the third day of the Lahore Test between India and Pakistan, with bad light and rain intervening throughout. India added 80 to their overnight score to close on 145-0, replying to a total of 679-7 declared by the hosts.
Virender Sehwag timed the ball superbly to move to within four runs of an 11th Test ton, while captain Rahul Dravid has hit a more circumspect score of 37.
The pitch has not deteriorated at all, and is still a batsman's paradise.
First Test, Lahore, day three (stumps) Pakistan 679-7d; India 145-0
India Cricket Live

Afridi and Akmal take Pakistan to 679-7d

India have plenty of batting to do to achieve safety after thrilling knocks from Shahid Afridi and Kamran Akmal put Pakistan on top in the first Test.
Afridi (103) hit 27 in one Harbhajan Singh over and put on 170 at almost eight an over with Akmal (102) as the hosts declared on day two on 679-7. Younis Khan, who was run out for 199, and Mohammad Yousuf (173) put on 319.
Captain Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag took India to 65-0 off 13 overs before bad light ended play early.
First Test, Lahore, day two (close) Pakistan 679-7 (dec) v India 65-0
India Cricket Live

Pakistan batsmen dominate India

Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf shared an unbroken 190 as Pakistan reached 326-2 at stumps after day one of the first Test against India in Lahore.
Choosing to bat first, they lost Salman Butt to a run out in the third over, but Younis and Shoaib Malik added 124. Younis made 147 with 19 fours while Yousuf hit 11 fours and a six in 95.
First Test, Lahore, day one (stumps) Pakistan 326-2 v India

Pakistan batting first in Lahore test

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first.
Pakistan (Playing XI) Shoaib Malik, Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq (Captain), Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (Wicket Keeper), Naved-ul-Hasan, Shoaib Akhtar, Danish Kaneria.
India (Playing XI) V Sehwag, R Dravid (Captain), VVS Laxman, SR Tendulkar, SC Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (Wicket Keeper), IK Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, AB Agarkar, A Kumble.

Will Ganguly be included in Indian team?

The possible recall of former India captain Sourav Ganguly for the first Test against Pakistan has overshadowed the normal diplomatic ramifications of clashes between the two countries.
Frequent meetings between the two teams over the last two years have gradually shifted the emphasis from political to cricketing matters and Gangulys future is the hottest of those topics ahead of the tomorrows start to the Lahore Test. Ganguly, a veteran of 86 Tests, led India to victory in Pakistan in 2004 their first series triumph away from home in 11 years making him Indias most successful Test captain. After being dropped in the Test series against Sri Lanka late last year, a decision that was met with protests in his home city of Kolkata, Ganguly was recalled to the India squad for the three-test Pakistan tour.
But he faces stiff competition from youngsters Gautam Gambhir, Wasim Jaffer and Yuvraj Singh for a place in the starting lineup.

Tendulkar predicts tough series

India star Sachin Tendulkar believes Pakistan will be tougher opponents than they were on the previous tour of 2004. Then, India won both the Test and one-day series but Tendulkar said: "Pakistan have been playing well and have carried a good momentum. "They've shown the right attitude, so I think this will be more competitive." The three-Test series beginning in Lahore on Friday is the third in two years between the teams, who contested only three Tests between 1990-2003.
Shoaib Akhtar inspired Pakistan to beat England with a stunning array of brutal pace and devious slower deliveries late last year, but Tendulkar insists there are other dangers awaiting in the home attack.

Pakistan recall Farhat for India

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.

Pakistan squad: Inzamam-ul-Haq (Captain), 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. India Cricket Live

India hoping openers will deliver

Coach Greg Chappell wants India's openers to rediscover their best form in the Test series in Pakistan. The Indian team arrived in Lahore on Thursday, having seen Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag struggle in the home series against Sri Lanka. Chappell admitted: "They haven't done as well as we would have liked or as well as they would have liked to do. "From a batting point of view, the better the starts we get, the better it will be for the team," he said. "It's about applying ourselves to what is required at that time, but I think if we do bat well at the top of the order it should make things easier for us." India, who take on Pakistan in the first of three Tests in Lahore on 13 January, also have Wasim Jaffer in their squad. The 27-year-old, who played the last of his seven Tests in Nottingham in August 2002, has been recalled after impressing in domestic cricket this season. Vice-captain Sehwag has not scored a Test century since his 201 against Pakistan in Bangalore last March but Gambhir's place is more likely to be under threat. The left-hander made only 54 runs in five innings against the Sri Lankans and will need to hit the ground running in the only warm-up game against Pakistan A, which starts on Saturday. India Cricket Live

Chappell excited by Pakistan tour

Greg Chappell says he is relishing the challenge of being involved in a series between India and Pakistan. The India coach, who landed in Lahore on Thursday, said he enjoyed touring Pakistan as an Australia player. The first of three Tests begins in Lahore on 13 January, and there will also be five one-day internationals. India triumphed in the Tests and one-dayers when they toured Pakistan in 2004. But Chappell believes the teams are well-matched and that India are looking forward to taking on a Pakistan side which defeated England recently. aptain Inzamam-ul-Haq and paceman Shoaib Akhtar were in superb form against England but Dravid says there are other threats in the Pakistan side. "We are not looking to target any one or two Pakistani players," he added. "That would be a mistake - the whole team is good - and both teams are evenly matched. I don't think there are any favourites." Indian cricket board president Sharad Pawar said the tour was an opportunity to continue improving relations between the two countries. "Each and every player is a going as India's goodwill ambassador," he said. "I am confident they will get goodwill and create goodwill." India Cricket Live

Weather hits Pakistan pitch plan

Foggy and damp conditions are hampering Pakistan's bid to prepare hard pitches for the Test series against India. Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq wants bouncy tracks to help his strong pace attack trouble India's formidable batsmen. But Lahore and Faisalabad - which will host the first two Tests - have had particularly wet weather recently. Pakistan Cricket Board general manager Zakir Khan said the weather was not unusal for the time of year and insisted that India had asked to play the first two Tests in the Punjab province. India fly in onThursday for their second tour of Pakistan in two years, with the first Test starting on 13 January. Pakistan used English groundsman Andy Atkinson for the 2004 series, which they lost 2-1, but the surfaces for the recent 2-0 triumph over England were laid by Zahid. Inzamam is wary of the threat posed by India spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh and wants the wickets to favour quicker bowlers. However, vice-captain Younis Khan believes the overhead conditions could prove to be Pakistan's toughest obstacle. India Cricket Live

Pakistan include Razzaq in camp

Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq has been named in an 18-man training camp ahead of the Test series against India, with Hasan Raza on the sidelines. It had been thought Razzaq might miss the start of the series after being admitted to hospital in Karachi with a severe chest infection. Razzaq missed the Test series against England with an elbow probelm but returned in the one-day internationals. Raza's exclusion frees up a place for uncapped batsman Rafatullah Mohmand. Mohmand, 29, who also bowls left-arm spin, hit a half-century for Pakistan A in a win against England in December. And there is also a place in the camp for Umar Gul, the 21-year-old seamer. He impressed in Pakistan's victory over India in the second Test in 2004 but was then out for a year with a back problem. India Cricket Live

Inzamam says India are favourites

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq insists India are favourites to win their three-Test series even though his side recently overcame England 2-0. The Indians arrive on 5 January and Inzamam also feels home advantage will count for little in their Tests at Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi. "The win against England is a thing of the past now," he said. "And since there is not much difference in pitches in India and Pakistan, there will be no home advantage." Pakistan drew 1-1 in India in March 2005 but were beaten 2-1 at home by the Indians the previous year. Inzamam says his pacemen, whom he believes are superior to India's, will have to be at their best to avoid a similar fate this time. Inzamam made 431 runs at a staggering average of 107.75 against England, while paceman Shoaib Akhtar was the leading wicket-taker with 17. But the 35-year-old insists Pakistan are not overly reliant on them. India Cricket Live

Pressure on Pakistan - Harbhajan

India spinner Harbhajan Singh says the pressure will be on home side Pakistan when the two teams meet for a three-match Test series in January. Harbhajan said: "The last series held in Pakistan was won by India and this time they will be under heavy pressure to ensure it does not happen again. "We have improved a lot under new coach Greg Chappell's guidance and our unity has only improved further." Harbhajan missed India's last series in Pakistan due to a finger injury. He acknowledged Pakistan might be enjoying good form - especially after beating England 2-0 - but felt India had the tools to unseat them. India Cricket Live

Wasim in call for lively wickets

Former star cricketer Wasim Akram has advised Pakistan to prepare bouncy tracks in the home series against India to unnerve the visitors' batsmen. "Pakistan have a transformed Shoaib Akhtar who can rock the Indians on hard pitches, said World Cup-winner Wasim. "With his pace and accuracy Shoaib can target any Indian batsman, and none more so than Sourav Ganguly." Wasim's left-arm pace brought him 414 Test wickets for Pakistan and a world record haul of 502 in one-day internationals. And he is looking for Pakistan to win a Test series on home soil against India for the first time since 1984, a year before his debut. He said: "Pakistan are better organised than a year ago and can avenge their 2004 home defeat, but for that they will have to play positive.

Swap for two Pakistan-India ODIs

Pakistan have decided to swap the venues for the first two one-day internationals against India in February for security reasons. The first match will be played in Rawalpindi on 6 February and the second in Peshawar two days later. The opener was originally slated for Peshawar and the second, in Rawalpindi, would have been three days later. But police in Pindi informed the Pakistan Cricket Board they would have staff shortages on 9 February. That is when the 10-day period of Muharram (month of mourning) starts. Security officials had warned much of their manpower would therefore have to be focused on sensitive places in and around Islamabad and Rawalpindi. India Cricket Live

Pakistan star Razzaq in hospital

Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq could miss the start of the home Test series against India after being admitted to hospital in Karachi. Razzaq is suffering from a severe chest infection and has less than three weeks to recover before the opening Test match in Lahore on 14 January. "It is a terrible blow to me to fall ill just when India is due to arrive. "I am feeling very weak and doctors say it will take time before I can resume playing cricket," he said. "But I am keeping my fingers crossed that I am able to regain full fitness before the first Test." Razzaq recently missed an entire Test series against England, which Pakistan won 2-0, before returning to action in the one-day internationals. India Cricket Live

Ganguly to play for state team

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly will play for state team Bengal before joining the tour to Pakistan. Ganguly had intended to miss domestic fixtures prior to the tour, citing family reasons, but the Indian board instructed him to play. Vice-captain Virender Sehwag , spinner Anil Kumble and reserve wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel will also feature in the Ranji Trophy before going to Pakistan. Ganguly, who has played in 86 Tests and 279 one-day internationals, has not been in competitive action since the second Test against Sri Lanka in Delhi earlier this month, when he made 40 and 39 as India won by 188 runs. He was left out of the final Test of the series, leading to protests from some of his supporters. There were rumours that Ganguly's international career may have come to an end, but the selectors opted to retain his experience for the tour of Pakistan, which features three Tests and five one-day internationals. Chief selector Kiran More spoke with the 33-year-old left-hander by telephone earlier this week and was angered when informed that the batsman wished to spend time with his family prior to the trip. BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah insisted that there was no question of action being taken against Ganguly and said: "The matter is now closed." The other 12 players in the India squad leave for Pakistan on 5 January and will form the squad for a three-day practice match starting two days later. India Cricket Live

Seamer Gul faces touring Indians

Seamer Umar Gul is in Pakistan A's squad for the opening match of India's tour in Lahore on Saturday 7 January. The 21-year-old impressed in Pakistan's victory over India in the second Test in 2004 but was then out for a year with a back problem. Hasan Raza, who led Pakistan A to a win over England in November, will captain a line-up featuring seven Test players. Opener Mohammad Wasim, 28, who played the last of his 18 Tests in 2000, has been rewarded for good domestic form. India arrive on 5 January and are scheduled to play three Tests in Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi. Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan have been pencilled in for the five one-dayers. But the final itinerary will only be announced later this week after an Indian security delegation completes its visit to Pakistan. India Cricket Live

Ganguly recalled to face Pakistan

India have recalled former captain Sourav Ganguly to their 16-man squad to tour Pakistan next month and given him a central contract for the next year.
The selectors also recalled left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan after a three-month absence but dropped batsman Mohammad Kaif and spinner Murali Karthik.
Ganguly, India's most successful Test captain with 21 wins, has scored 5,150 runs in 86 Tests. Ganguly led India to historic Test match and one-day series victories on the last tour to Pakistan in 2004.
Indian cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah announced the list of contracted players for the coming year with Ganguly one of eight in grade A. The others in the top bracket are Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag , VVS Laxman, Irfan Pathan, Kumble and Harbhajan.
Yuvraj , Kaif, Mahendra Dhoni and Ajit Agarkar have been put in grade B.
Zaheer, Kartik and Gautam Gambhir form grade C.
India squad for Pakistan Tour: Rahul Dravid (Captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-capt), Sachin Tendulkar , Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Wasim Jaffar, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, RP Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, MS Dhoni (Wicket Keeper), Parthiv Patel (Wicket Keeper). India Cricket Live

India to inspect Pakistan venues

Senior intelligence officials from India will leave for Pakistan later this week to inspect venues chosen for the upcoming Test and one-day series.
"They are going to check the security conditions not only in the venues, but also in hotels and airports," said an Intelligence Bureau official.
The delegation will also hold talks with representatives of the Pakistan interior ministry and cricket board.
The Indian team is due to set off for Pakistan on 6 January. Their itinerary includes three Tests and five limited overs internationals. Karachi, which is due to stage the third Test and final one-dayer, is the most contentious venue. India declined to play a Test there on last year's 2004 tour but this time the government has given permission, subject to security clearance. Only Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have played Test cricket in Karachi since a bomb explosion prompted New Zealand to call off a tour in 2002. Security officers will accompany the Indian players on tour, but Pakistan will have overall responsibility for their safety. India Cricket Live

India cleared for Test in Karachi

The Indian government will allow the national team to play a Test in Karachi on the forthcoming tour to Pakistan.
"Karachi has been cleared for a Test, provided certain security conditions are met," said Rajiv Shukla, chairman of the Indian board's media committee. The match at the National Stadium is due to begin on 30 January. Only Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have played Tests in Karachi since a bomb explosion in the city prompted New Zealand to abandon a tour in 2002.
England refused to a Test in Karachi being included in the schedule for their current tour but a one-day international which they did agree to passed off without incident.
India's itinerary includes three Tests, the first and second to be played in Lahore and Faisalabad, and five one-day internationals.
It will be the third series involving the two teams since their respective governments approved a resumption of cricket ties in 2004.
But the Pakistan Cricket Board are concerned that the importance of the rivalry could be diminished by playing too often. India Cricket Live

Pakistan adjusts India itinerary

Pakistan has adjusted the itinerary for the India tour early next year with the Tests to begin from January 14. Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan said some requests of the Indian board had been accepted and the itinerary tweaked accordingly. He added: "The finalisation of Karachi, where we have proposed a Test and a one-day internatiional, is subject to approval from the Indian government.
India Cricket Live

Pakistan worry of India overkill

Pakistan cricket chief Shahriyar Khan has warned that playing India too often could ruin the impact of the match-up. The teams have played 21 times since relations were resumed in March 2004, with India touring Pakistan next month. The Pakistan Cricket Board sent a proposed match schedule for the forthcoming tour to its Indian counterparts two weeks ago and is keen to finalise an itinerary. Shahriyar hopes Sharad Pawar's election as president of the Indian board will result in the negotiations being concluded in the near future. The proposed itinerary includes three Tests and five one-day internationals. It is expected that the Indian board (BCCI) will agree to the inclusion of Karachi in the itinerary as venue for one of the Tests. Only two Tests have taken place there since a bomb explosion in 2002 prompted New Zealand to abandon a tour - and England only agreed to a one-day international in the city during their current series. India Cricket Live

Pakistan seeking India agreement

Pakistan have urged India's new cricket chief to make finalising the itinerary for next January's Test and one-day series a top priority. The Pakistan Cricket Board send a proposed match schedule to their Indian counterparts two weeks ago. And they are hoping Sharad Pawar's election as president of the Indian board will result in the negotiations being concluded in the near future. The proposed itinerary includes three Tests and five one-day internationals. It will be India's second tour to Pakistan in the space of 21 months following the re-establishment of full cricket relations between the two countries. And it is expected that the Indian board (BCCI) will agree to the inclusion of Karachi in the itinerary as venue for one of the Tests. Only two Tests have taken place there since a bomb explosion in 2002 prompted New Zealand to abandon a tour - and England only agreed to a one-day international in the city during their current series. India Cricket Live

India 'agree' to Karachi matches

India are set to agree to play a Test match and one day international in Karachi on their tour of Pakistan. The India board is reported to have given its approval of the itinerary for three Tests and five one-dayers but it needs to be ratified by the government. The first Test is set for Lahore on 5 January and the final ODI is planned for Karachi on 11 February. Pakistan Cricket Board director Abbas Zaidi said: "India have told us they have no objection to the itinerary." Only Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have played in the troubled city of Karachi in recent times. India resumed cricket ties with Pakistan last year and won the Test and one-day series when they toured there in 2004. But Pakistan gained a measure of revenge on the reciprocal tour earlier this year, beating India 4-2 in the one-dayers and drawing the Test series.

Editor: Nishanth Gopinathan.