Yousuf worried by lack of match fitness
Worcester: Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf has admitted he is far from being match-fit for next week`s third Test against England at The Oval.
The former Pakistan captain was unable to add to his overnight 40 as rain washed out the second and final day of the tourists` match against Worcestershire at New Road yesterday.
And the 35-year-old admitted he would have dearly loved more time in the middle, telling a website: "I would have wanted some valuable time in the middle today.”
"To get some practice and also it would have boosted my match fitness. However, it wasn`t meant to be and there`s nothing I can do about it."
"The fitness levels you maintain when playing first class cricket are entirely different to the levels of fitness you maintain when playing a few local club matches as I was in Lahore before arriving in England.”
"I am not entirely Test match-fit, but I will utilise my experience as my country needs me."
Pakistan are 2-0 down in the four-Test series following crushing defeats at Trent Bridge and Edgbaston where they were bowled out for record low scores against England of 80 and 72 respectively.
Yousuf was recalled ahead of the nine-wicket second Test loss at Edgbaston but was not selected after only arriving in England the day before the match.
Third in Pakistan`s all-time list of Test run-scorers, Yousuf was initially omitted from the squad having been handed an indefinite ban by the Pakistan Cricket Board after captaining the side on their winless tour of Australia concluded earlier this year.
Yousuf has scored 7,431 runs at 53.07 including 12 hundreds in 88 Tests and against England has an average of 70.
Now, barring injury, he seems set to be recalled at The Oval, which has a reputation as one of the best batting surfaces in England although much may depend on the overhead conditions the hosts` swing bowlers have exploited so successfully in the first two Tests.
"I`ll do my best and will help and guide the younger players," said Yousuf.
"Let`s see what the track is like at the Oval and I hope that we can bounce back and get back into the series."
Pakistan suffered a setback on yesterday when it was announced wicketkeeper-batsman Zulqarnain Haider, who made 80 on Test debut at Edgbaston, was doubtful for The Oval after suffering a finger injury.