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Things are still far from settled in the Pakistani team camp with new-ball duo Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif still uncertain of playing the World Cup. And to add to Pakistan's miseries, all-rounder Abdul Razzaq was ruled out of the tournament due to a knee injury.

“I can't really say anything about our chances. What's important is that the team should come up with a good combination and play good cricket. The administrators want the team to play good cricket. When everybody expects the team to return home with the World Cup, the opposite happens, as it did in 2003,” Razzaq said.

Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammadd Asif also form the crux of Pakistan's uneasiness. Undoubtedly, the Pakistan Cricket Board finds itself on slippery turf with the duo yet to undergo dope tests. And with just a day to go before the team’s departure, the pace duo's availability is yet to be confirmed.

And the skipper echoed his uneasiness on the situation. "If our team does not play with full strength, absolutely, they lose and there is less chance to win. Definitely these are our two strike bowlers and wicket takers; both can change the situation of a match. So definitely if they do not play our chances are less,” said Inzamam-ul-Haq, Captain, Pakistan Cricket Team.

“The decision on Shoaib and Asif isn't finalised yet. If they do go to the World Cup, it will bolster our bowling attack with the new ball and at the death. It will be a good bowling side,” said Razzaq.

The youngsters in the squad are hopeful of a good show by the Pakistanis, though they agree that they might be a little short of experience in the bowling department. But the latest entrant to the squad Azhar Mahmood exuded confidence.

“Either of the top five or six teams could win the World Cup. Of course, we will hope that Pakistan comes out on top,” said Azhar Mahmood, All-rounder, Pakistan.

Time is running on the pace duo as well as the team. They have to at least get things going with a positive frame of mind. But with the Pakistani team, a surprise or two is always in store.
 

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