Make or break for Smith in 'Test' rehearsal

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Nasser Hussain plans to give England A a sharp reminder of their aims and ambitions before today's start of a three-day match against a Patron's XI in Lahore.

After a week of inactivity following the innings and 43-run annihilation of their Pakistan counterparts in the first "Test" at Multan, the tourists' captain and the manager, John Emburey, are still deciding the final make- up of today's side.

The Warwickshire wicketkeeper, Keith Piper, could be rested before a busy end-of-tour schedule, and in order to give every specialist batsman in the squad a chance to stake a claim for next week's second "Test". Hussain said: "We must use the next three days to really get ourselves ready and focused again."

Dominic Ostler and Anthony McGrath would share wicketkeeping duties if Piper is not picked, and would bat only after recovering fully from their stints behind the stumps. The left-arm paceman Mike Smith and the newly arrived seamer Tim Munton bowled alongside each other in a makeshift net session on a concrete pitch yesterday. It was Smith's last chance to ease himself back from a rib cartilage problem.

Hussain stressed: "Mike must feel 100 per cent fit after this match if he is to stay with us. Either he or Tim will go back home following this game."

ENGLAND A (possible): N V Knight, J E R Gallian, N Hussain (capt), D P Ostler, A McGrath, J C Pooley, C White, S D Udal, R Stemp, T A Munton, A M Smith.

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