Pakistan news October 16, 2009

Talha tweaking run-up to raise his game

Cricinfo staff

Mohammad Talha, the Pakistan fast bowler, has identified his run-up as an area to work on to improve his bowling and help him make the step up to the national team. After a stunning 2008-09 domestic season, the highly rated Talha was picked by Pakistan for one Test against Sri Lanka in Lahore early this year. It was a batsman-friendly track on which Sri Lanka amassed 606; he could only manage figures of 1 for 88, and has not been selected since.

"I looked at the videos of my bowling with my coach and it was clear I needed to improve and alter my run-up," Talha, 21, told PakPassion.net. After watching several fast bowlers around the world, he zeroed in on Australian Brett Lee's approach as the model run-up. "I started to copy his run up in practice matches and the nets and then tried it out 'properly' in the recent Quaid-E-Azam Trophy match against Lahore Shalimar."

It was a modest outing for Talha, in which he grabbed three wickets, but he was happy with the results of his changes. "I feel very comfortable with the new run-up and I think it will improve my bowling all round. I feel that the new run-up suits me perfectly."

Talha was a member of the A teams that toured Australia and Sri Lanka earlier this year. A knee injury prevented him from being at his best in Australia but he was closer to top form in Sri Lanka, especially in the List A matches. "I played a large part of the Sri Lanka tour and I am 100% fit now and am hopeful that I can turn in some good performances that can help me get another chance in playing for my country."

His next assignment is the Quaid-e-Azam match against Water and Power Development Authority starting Friday.