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Pakistan must play aggressively against India - Inzamam

Umar Farooq

December 15, 2012

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New batting consultant Inzamam-ul-Haq guides Pakistan team members in a training camp, Lahore, December 15, 2012
Inzamam-ul-Haq says he is passing on his experience to Pakistan's batsmen, rather than working on techniques © PCB
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Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan's former captain and newly-appointed batting consultant, has advised his batsmen to be 'aggressive' against India. The team that handles pressure better, he said, could control how the matches go in the upcoming limited-overs series'.

Pakistan are preparing for the India series with a conditioning camp at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, and Inzamam will spend the week with the batsmen to assist them. Since his retirement in 2007, Inzamam had not been associated with Pakistan cricket in any form, running a business instead; this is the first in five years that he has taken up a role with the team.

"My job will be to pass on my playing experience to the players, rather than working on batsmen's techniques," Inzamam told reporters at the end of the day's training. "I will be discussing with them how to chase, how to set a target and what's required while batting."

Pakistan will kick-off their tour of India with a two-match T20 series, followed by three ODIs. Inzamam, who led Pakistan in 22 ODIs against India and has a win-loss ratio of 12-10, said Pakistan have plenty of matchwinners in the squad but they need 'collective' effort.

"Pakistan have a lot of players who could individually win matches for us, it's a good sign,'' he said. "But cricket is a team game, we lack in collective effort from the batsmen. Our bowling is very strong and we have to have confidence in ourselves. We have to make up our minds that we can win.

"Playing in Indian conditions isn't different; we have been winning [there] and can win again. It's only about pressure and how to handle it. What we need is to play aggressively and whoever copes with it [pressure] well, will play better."

Pakistan have played 16 completed ODIs in 2012, losing four out of eight while chasing and failing to defend their target on six instances out of eight. Batting first this year, they have crossed the 200-run mark seven times, winning only twice. When chasing a target of more than 200, they have won only on one occasion out of five.

"It's not a new problem, it's been going on for a long time now," Inzamam said of their batting issues, citing the lack of quality cricket in Pakistan, which has been a no-go zone for major international cricket teams. "For the last two years we have not played a lot of cricket and the batsmen are lacking in temperament due to T20 cricket.

"Flaws in our players are down to us not playing on a regular basis. If we start playing 10-12 Test matches every year, you will obviously see an improvement in our batting. As more we play cricket, the more players will learn from it."

Inzamam said it will be important for the players to put aside distractions in India and focus on the cricket: "Against India, one should be focused on the game instead of other activities. We have to focus on our game and don't worry about what others are doing. If we keep focus on ourselves, we will perform better.

"India will play with passion, so must Pakistan. I think the way this Pakistan team lines-up, we can put pressure on India. But they're a big team too and could make a comeback [after faltering in the Test series against England], so we have to focus ourselves."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 19, 2012, 0:11 GMT)

@just_chill_chill. haha look who is talking about preparing doctored pitches. Didnt dhoni ask for Rank turners during the series against England. Whereas we gave seamer friendly wickets to england and New zealand at P.sara studium. Can you tell me when did ur team prepared seamer friendly wicket at home. I bet that will never ever happen in history. And how does Over appealing Influences Umpiring decisions? This makes no sense to me. I hope for reply from you.

Posted by piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda on (December 18, 2012, 22:11 GMT)

@Sinhaya We saw how "sporty" the little Lankans were during the recent T20 world cup. The stadiums were empty when SL were not playing, and boy those little lankans know how to be one sided and partisan. Pretty shameful. Stop lecturing others. And less said about the sportsmanship of SL players, the better it is. In T20 world cup finals, Mahela managed to get a crumbling pitch to pack his side with "mystery" spinners - how he and SL managed to CHOKE the finals is another matter.

Posted by just_chill_chill on (December 18, 2012, 21:29 GMT)

@Sinhaya Yes the world should learn sportsmanship from Sri Lankans indeed. Randiv can teach everyone how to bowl no balls on purpose, Sangakkara can teach how to over-appeal and influence umpires, and Mahela can teach how to prepare doctored pictches to try and win games. Well done indeed.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 18, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

@Harmony111, I adore Pakistan big time and no Pakistani will deny the fact that Sri Lanka has won 6 test matches in Pakistan except an abnormal character like you. We Sri Lankans as a team will probably be the first team to visit Pakistan so that they will get international cricket in their shores, which they deserve. Sanath Jayasuriya too advocated for it and that was why he lead the world XI team to Pakistan. Hopefully in Dec 2013 as per the ICC FTP we will tour Pakistan to play cricket as the fans badly need to witness international cricket. Stop trying to lure Pakistani fans in a false sense as they are smart enough to know that it was India who was never interested in playing cricket with Pakistan since 1989 to 2004 when Pakistan wanted to play. India were also meant to host Pakistan in March 2012 and that too did not happen and a smart man can figure out why!

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 18, 2012, 16:02 GMT)

@Harmony111, Indians are the worse sporty of all who live in the deluded world. Whole world knows the master of excuses and it is the infamous M S Dhoni. We dont give excuses ever. Inzamam Ul Haq was the greatest Pakistani batsman and his achievements are outstanding. We saw the sportsmanship of M S Dhoni and Kohli in arguing with the umpire in the Nagpur test when Trott was correctly given not out. Dont give us lectures on sportsmanship as you are never qualified for that!

Posted by afaqmalik1 on (December 18, 2012, 9:26 GMT)

Indian Team is basically a crowed of aggressive batsmen and this is what is giving them full advantage. Pakistan is surely missing the voltage in its pace battery but nothing can be said as the final words. This would surely have been great if there were a couple of bowlers like Mohammad Amir who could make the ball dancing on the pitch towards a batsman. Wahab Riaz can be handy but he has not be a bigger turner. Junaid is not very effective in my stats. I don't know if Anwar Ali could do something like he did in the under 19 worldcup 2006.If the current set of quicks could do something extraordinary, this can also be expected as it is the India-Pakistan Game. This is typical and totally unpredictable situation.

Posted by fayazsha on (December 17, 2012, 19:12 GMT)

Pakistan playing 11 in onday in order to Hafeez jamshed malik yunis/ haris sohail umar akmal misbha kamran ajmal junaid wahab umar gul

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 17, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

@ Sinhaya: Would be better if you could counter what Bruisers said using some facts and statistics instead of running away and trying to take the other Pak fans with you. Btw, unlike the SL fans like you, most of the Pakistani fans are a lot more sporting and they do appreciate Ind players and don't just show their jealousy by saying stupid things. There will always be some black sheeps but I reckon more than 90% of Pak fans know the pressure of Ind-Pak cricket and so they know it when they see a player doing well in these matches. They may hate or grudge an Ind player if he does well vs them but they will still admire his performance. This is so unlike the SL fans who crib ALL THE TIME and just can't say well played to the other side and will make all sort of excuses.

@ALL PAK FANS: Let's hope the coming series gives us some close exciting matches of high quality and memorable performances like Anwar's 194 of 97 and Sachin's 97 of WC 03. Let's be sporting here. :-)

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 17, 2012, 17:56 GMT)

Guys please don't pay much attention to what KiwiRocker says. He is an old rabbit here who often comes in, makes some ludicrous comments and almost always mentions Sachin to vent his frustration. KiiwiRocker never replies to the rebuttals and that is clearly because he lacks the ability to counter the arguments. He is merely full of a whole lot of rubbish and has often said that it was Sachin who used his clout in the early 90s to prevent Ind-Pak cricket cos he was afraid of facing the Pakistani fast bowlers !!! After hearing this, do you guys really think he is worth responding? He is funnier than the likes of SirFreddieFlintoff and OhhMattyMatty and Sinhaya, a thousand times to the power a thousand times. Inzy becomes a match winner cos he scored 10 hundreds and Pak won in 7. Ha Ha, I guess only 1 of them was vs a good team but then he can imagine all he wants about Inzy - give that man some peace for his hallucinations.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 17, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

@All Pakistani fans. Ignore this fellow called "Bruisers". He cant appreciate a great batsman like Inzamam Ul Haq. I really miss him indeed. I will never forget his blitz in the 1992 world cup semi finals. "Bruisers" is totally bruised after India getting drubbed by England and Australia and world over.

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