Pakistan puts faith in Butt - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pakistan puts faith in Butt

By Adam Cooper 13/12/2004 05:38:46 AM Comments (0)

Young Pakistan opener Salman Butt knows a thing about temperament.

Last month, in his sixth one-day international cricket match, he hit an unbeaten 108 in front of a packed crowd at Calcutta's Eden Gardens to take his side to victory over India in the penultimate over of the one-off match between the two rivals.

This week, Pakistan will continue to show their enormous faith in the left-handed dasher by asking him to open the innings in the first Test against Australia's attack of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and maybe even Brett Lee at the WACA Ground, on the world's fastest wicket.

"It's a learning curve for me, and I'm ready to face anyone," he said of the challenge.

"You get better as you play the best, that's it.

"It had to happen one day. If you are playing at the top level you have to face everyone, so it doesn't matter when."

It says much about Pakistan's build-up on this tour that their batsmen in arguably the best form is a 20-year-old who has played one Test - 15 months ago, against Bangladesh, when he made 12 and 37.

But a sparkling 115 not out in the Chairman's XI match at Lilac Hill last week and two stylish, yet all-too-short knocks of 42 and 47 against Western Australia - when his side was all out for 262 and 174 - underlines the high esteem he is held in.

Despite his inexperience, Salman has shown an ability to adapt the quicker Australian wickets.

He likened the WACA wicket to the quickest and bounciest he has played on in all of his 21 first-class matches.

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