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Akram raises concern over Ishant, Zaheer's fitness

December 23, 2011 17:17 IST

Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram has raised concerns over Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma's fitness, insisting the two Indian pacers have not bowled enough in the run-up to the Test series against Australia, starting on December 26.

"Until and unless you bowl 15-20 overs in a practice game and do rigorous nets, you are not fit enough to go into a Test match. I am not sure whether Ishant and Zaheer have done that in the warm-up games," said Akram.

Wasim AkramWith the Indian camp keeping the fitness updates on Zaheer and Ishant under wraps, Akram said the conditions in Melbourne will reveal chinks in the Indian armoury on Day 1 itself.

"Whoever is carrying an injury or niggles is surely going to be exposed at MCG. The wickets are hard and the outfield very demanding. Hence everyone has to be in peak fitness. The news from the Indian camp doesn't seem to be very convincing at this stage," Akram told Mobile ESPN.

The fitness status of his two leading pacers is set to leave captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni a worried man ahead of the first Test in Melbourne, according to Akram who will part of the commentary team Down Under.

While Ishant has bowled a little over nine overs in five days of practice games, Zaheer has bowled a total of 15 (10 + 5) over two innings, not enough according to Akram.

"MCG wickets are so hard that they will take a toll on your body joints, especially the back, groin and ankle. You cannot afford to go into a series-opening Test match with 90 per cent fitness."

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