Kaneria banks on SCG memories

Kaneria banks on SCG memories

Danish Kaneria

Kaneria put up a fine performance and claimed 15 wickets, including eight in Sydney, during Pakistan’s last tour Down Under five years ago, when the hosts clinched the series 3-0.

“It’s all up to me — how I bowl and how I perform. It’s a big challenge for me to come back to Australia and play against the Aussies. It’s a challenging series in Australia all the time. I can’t say Australia don’t play spin that well,” said Kaneria, who missed the first Test due to an injury. Pakistan’s last Test win over Australia came at Sydney in 1995, with spin duo Mushtaq Ahmed and Saqlain Mushtaq starring.

Kaneria said he was confident of revitalising his team in Sydney, where Pakistan have two wins in the past, as the pitch traditionally has plenty in it for the slow bowlers.
“I will try my level best to do something to help us win in Sydney and try to live up to the expectations of the captain and my team. If I can contribute, it will be very good for the team,” Kaneria said.

Fellow spinner Saeed Ajmal sent down 69 overs in Melbourne but could bag just two wickets — one in each innings — for 223 runs.

“I don’t think they play spin badly. They have started to play spin better and more professionally,” said Kaneria, Pakistan’s leading bowler in 2009, claiming 25 wickets in just five Tests.

On the recent tour of New Zealand, the leg-spinner took 13 wickets in two Tests, helping Pakistan win by 141 runs in Wellington as the three-match series was drawn 1-1.

Kaneria has taken 245 wickets in 56 Tests and recently passed Abdul Qadir as the most prolific spinner the country has seen. Qadir took 236 wickets in 67 Tests. The 29-year-old said said an injury to his ring finger had kept him out of the Boxing day Test and he was disappointed to miss the opportunity of playing before a big crowd.

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