Pakistan news July 15, 2011

Talha, Sohail Khan reap benefits of camp

ESPNcricinfo staff

Pakistan fast bowlers Mohammad Talha and Sohail Khan have said they have made significant improvements to their game at the ongoing two-week emerging players camp being held at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

Talha, whose only Test cap for Pakistan came in the game that was unfortunately abandoned due to the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus, said the camp was helping him correct some of his mistakes. "Camps like this should take place more often, to give bowlers a fair opportunity to rectify their mistakes and enhance their ability," Talha told the Express Tribune. Sarfraz Nawaz, the former Pakistan fast bowler and now mentor at the camp, had said he was impressed with Talha but there were some problems with his follow through. Talha said he had benefited from Sarfraz's advice.

"Sarfaraz Nawaz has given us various tips which will help us improve. I hope to be considered for the national side when I sign off from the camp, as I want an opportunity to prove myself."

Sohail was also optimistic about his chances of getting back into the Pakistan squad. He, like Talha, has played only one Test for Pakistan, in which he failed to pick up a wicket. Sohail put his poor debut down to fitness concerns and said the camp had helped him grow stronger. "Many players have faced similar situations in the past, but the coaches at the camp are helping me get fully fit through various useful methods. I am now 100% fit to play international cricket."

Sohail also said he could benefit from the recent rule-change in ODIs mandating the use of two new balls, one from each end. "I have been bowling a lot faster with a new ball. In fact, I have always preferred to use a new ball, as reverse swing has never been one of my priorities."

Pakistan's next assignment is a tour to Zimbabwe beginning in August after which they host Sri Lanka in the UAE. Sohail, who was the leading wicket-taker in the recently concluded Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup, and Talha, who had an impressive first-class season, will both be on the selectors' radar.