Pakistan skipper feels Rahul's absence will help his side

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New Delhi, Nov 1 (UNI) Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik today exuded confidence of his team doing well against India saying that the absence of Rahul Dravid in the Indian side is ''good for us.'' ''Rahul is an experienced batsman but it seems Indians now prefer young players, it is good for us that he (Rahul Dravid) is not there,'' Malik told newspersons here this evening.

Malik however termed Yuvraj Singh as the dangerous man saying ''he (Yuvraj is in tremendous form and he can be dangerous.'' The Pakistan skipper had a word of praise of young Indian seamer R P Singh saying, ''R P is one of the most improved fast bowlers in the game at present.'' He admitted that the absence of pacer Mohd Arif will be felt by his team ''Arif has pulled out due to shoulder injury. We will come to know about his fitness in two weeks time.'' ''But we have a very balanced pace attack.The four fast bowlers--Shoaib Akhtar, Rana Iftikhar, Umer Gul and Tanvir Suhail-- are good enough replacement. They have good form and we are confident that they will perform well in the series.'' ''Malik dismissed the talk of rift between senior and junior players saying that seniors like Mohd Yousaf, Younis Khan and Shoaib Akhtar are players of very high caliber and they are very responsible persons who know their duties. There is no problem between the seniors and so called juniors,'' he asserted.

''I don't think there is much gap between the seniors and the juniors in the team.'' Describing world Twenty20 tournament as history Malik said, ''we are now concentrating on the current series.'' He admitted that India has a slight advantage by virtue of being the hosts ''but we are confident of putting up a good display, I am sure that it is going to be a very exciting and engrossing series.'' UNI

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