|Player:||Inzamam-ul-Haq, MP Vaughan|
|Event:||England in Pakistan 2005/06|
DateLine: 9th November 2005
Pakistan cricket captain Inzamam-ul Haq said that his side would benefit in the first Test in Multan starting Saturday if England skipper Michael Vaughan is ruled out by a knee injury.
England are awaiting an assesment after Vaughan twisted his right knee during his team's lead-up match in Lahore on Monday, a recurrence of an old injury.
They will take a final decision on Vaughan later Wednesday, amid fears that the problem could threaten his place in the entire three-Test series.
"There is no doubt that when your opposing captain is out you get the advantage and we would benefit from Vaughan's absence," Inzamam told AFP.
"Vaughan has been instrumental in England's progress but we wouldn't get complacent if he is ruled out, because mentally they are a very strong side and may overcome it," said Inzamam.
Inzamam added that England's six-wicket loss in the side match against Pakistan A this week -- a brutal comedown for the team after their Ashes triumph against Australia in September -- was also a plus for Pakistan.
"Our bowlers can take heart from the Pakistan A bowlers and especially the way the young bowlers bowled in the morning sessions," said Inzamam.
The tourists' top order batting also flopped during their 52-run win in the tour opener against a Patron's XI at Rawalpindi last week.
Inzamam played down speculation that Pakistan's hopes of taming England at Multan rest with their spinners.
"I have not seen the pitch as yet but people's opinions that we would only rely on our spinners is exaggeration. We want an equal role for fast bowlers because we have a number of good pacemen," he said.
Pakistan lost their last Test at the Multan stadium -- against arch rivals India last year -- in a defeat which triggered a controversy over the pitch.
Pakistan team management criticised English curator Andy Atkinson for not preparing the type of pitch they demanded, even though the home team batted and fielded poorly to hand India their first-ever Test win in Pakistan.
"What happened in the past is past. My young team has gained good experience in the last two series in India and the West Indies earlier this year, so I expect a very good fight from them," said Inzamam.
Both the Pakistani and Englnd teams reached Multan early Wednesday and were scheduled to hold net sessions in the afternoon.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)