Pakistan banking on spinners in absence of Asif, Amir against Proteas

Karachi: Pakistan`s `main weapon` during their "home series" against South Africa, starting in the UAE with a Twenty20 International on Oct 26, will be their `spin bowling attack.`

With top new-ball bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir unlikely to feature in the series due to their provisional suspension by the ICC, Pakistan will have to rely chiefly on their spinners to counter the Proteas, currently regarded among the best teams in all three formats of the game, The News reported.

Though currently in miserable form, Danish Kaneria is being considered to lead Pakistan`s spin attack in the series, which will open with two Twenty20 Internationals before the five One-day Internationals and two Tests.

"Kaneria is our most experienced spinner and for a series where spin is going to be our main weapon I must say that he is very much in the picture," Pakistan`s chief selector Mohsin Khan said.

He disclosed that at least five spinners would be in serious contention for a place in Pakistan`s Test and one-day squad, when the selectors would sit down in Lahore to finalise the squad later this week.

"The good thing is that we have a lot of variety when it comes to spin bowling," said the former Test opener. "We have good bowlers like Kaneria, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Zulfiqar Babar and Raza Hasan."

Mohsin expressed hope that spinners would be able to compensate for the possible absence of chief strike bowler Amir, who is implicated in spot-fixing allegations, along with Salman Butt and Asif.

"It would be great if we have all our top players available for the series because South Africa are really tough opponents," said Mohsin, adding "But we have to be ready for all possibilities and if we can`t select Asif and Amir then we will turn towards several other talented fast bowlers."