Cricket: Pakistan's problems multiply: West Indies buoyant for second Test

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The Independent Online
THE NEWS grows bleaker by the hour for the beleaguered Pakistan team. On the eve of the second Test here yesterday, their captain, Wasim Akram, lay in his hotel bed with influenza, their opening batsman, Aamir Sohail, was nursing a strained groin muscle, their wicketkeeper, Rashid Latif, was girdled in a back brace and the fast bowler, Aaqib Javed, and the leg-spinner, Mushtaq Ahmed, were in London receiving treatment for stress fractures of the vertebrae.

Wasim is expected to recover sufficiently to lead his diminishing troops, but both Aamir and Rashid are doubtful starters.

Pakistan's defeat in three days in the first Test was a psychological blow to a fledgling team coming so quickly after the drugs charges, subsequently withdrawn, against Wasim and three of his players in Grenada which threatened the tour. They now have back-to-back Tests to raise their challenge for what is seen at home, if not in the Caribbean, as a contest for the nebulous world Test championship.

In addition, visiting teams tread wearily on to Kensington Oval where the West Indies have built a record unrivalled at any other Test ground. They have been beaten only once here in the 28 Tests since 1930.

WEST INDIES (from): R B Richardson (capt), D L Haynes, P V Simmons, B C Lara, K L C Arthurton, C L Hooper, J R Murray (wkt), I R Bishop, C E L Ambrose, A C Cummins, C A Walsh, J C Adams, W K M Benjamin.

PAKISTAN (from): Wasim Akram (capt), Aamir Sohail, Ramiz Raja, Shakeel Ahmed, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Javed Miandad, Zahid Fazal, Basit Ali, Moin Khan (wkt), Waqar Younis, Ata-ur-Rehman, Amer Nazir.