ibnlive » Sports

Sep 01, 2006 at 02:58pm IST

Shoaib all set for Champions Trophy

New Delhi: Pakistan pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar is back in action and expects to be at his best at the ICC Champions Trophy.

Shoaib had undergone a surgery during last winter but in his first One-Dayer after returning to international cricket, he finished with the figures of three for 45 in the washed out match at Cardiff against England.

He had already sounded a warning to the batsmen in the Twenty20 match against England in Bristol.

RAWALPINDI EXPRESS: He has sounded a warning to the batsmen in the Twenty20 match against England.

In that match he bowled a double wicket maiden to power Pakistan to a thumping win over the hosts.

"It's nice to finally be back in international cricket after all those months on the sidelines. The Cardiff match was a nice comeback but it's only the start," he was quoted as saying by the bigstar.com.

"The three-wicket burst at the end (at Cardiff) was enough evidence of the old Shoaib Akhtar but there is still a long way to go. I know I can get better and faster. I just hope to stay fit and by the time of the Champions Trophy I should be at my peak," he was quoted.

"The team is playing some really good One-Day cricket and I think the only way we will lose this series is if we become complacent. If we all stay focused and play to our ability we will take some beating as we have a lethal combination," he said.

"I don't mean any disrespect to England saying that, as they have some dangerous players also, but I just think we have the advantage with experience and ability," he added.

The Champions Trophy will be held in October-November and will be the last major tournament before the World Cup in the West Indies early next year.