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Fiery Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar admitted Wednesday he was not in shape for the ongoing series against India, despite impressive recent performances.

The 32-year-old returned to international cricket last month after serving a 13-match ban, primarily for striking team-mate Mohammad Asif with a bat ahead of the inaugural Twenty20 world championships in South Africa in September.

Akhtar grabbed four wickets in his comeback one-dayer against South Africa at home in October and six in three matches against India on the current tour.

Pakistan trail 2-1 in the five-match series with the fourth game to be played on Thursday.

"I was not ready for the one-dayers," Akhtar told reporters. "I wanted to play three-four games before playing in the series. I also needed to train more in the gym and get into shape before the series.

"Bowling quick is thrilling and it's very enjoyable. I am still bowling quick but I'm a bit more sensible now and also bowl more dot balls in an over."

When asked who was the most "dazzling" Indian batsman, Akhtar said it was record-breaking Sachin Tendulkar.

"It's not surprise to guess the name, he is Tendulkar. He is the greatest Indian batsman. He can be very destructive on his day. I am honoured to play with the likes of Tendulkar, Wasim Akram and other greats of the era," he said.

"But my personal favourite is (Australian wicketkeeper-batsman) Adam Gilchrist. I am also a fan of former West Indies captain Brian Lara."

Akhtar has so far bagged 218 wickets in 137 one-day internationals.

Pakistan are also due to play a three-Test series against India after the one-dayer
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