Pakistan news April 20, 2013

'I'm not a magician' - Akram

Wasim Akram has said he will encourage Pakistan's latest breed of fast bowlers to adopt an aggressive approach in order to be successful but he can't magically bring rewards.

Akram, a former captain, has started working with the country's quicks after coming to a short-term agreement with the PCB. He commenced a 10-day training camp at the National Stadium in Karachi for 18 of Pakistan's top fast bowlers, including members of the national team and some new, raw talent.

The camp was set up ahead of the Champions Trophy in June in England and Akram said that the change to regulations in one-day cricket were tough for bowlers.

"You need to be aggressive and learn how to adapt to these rule changes. Pakistani bowlers have a lot of talent but they need to learn and adapt to the demands of international cricket.

"With the change in ODI cricket, that you can't keep more than four fielders outside the circle in a 50-over match at any time, and the rising popularity of T20 cricket means pace bowlers now need to be more adaptable.

"I will advise these bowlers that to be successful in this scenario, aggression is a must with top grade fitness, pace and the ability to have length variation. T20 cricket has changed the mentality of batsmen. The odds are stacked against the bowlers. First I will tell them how to swing the ball, then reverse swing and how to make use of the yorkers.

"I am not a magician able to work wonders in ten days but I will try my level best to help them in phases and hope that the same training camp is staged after a break of three to four months," he added. "I will be there in the camp and then at the Champions Trophy so will do my best to help them to learn and mature."

Prior to the Champions Trophy, Pakistan will tour Scotland and Ireland to play a two-match ODI series each. After the South Africa tour which ended in March there is feeling prevailing around the country that Pakistan's pace-bowling resources are declining but Akram is not too concerned about the future."

"I don't think it's a serious concern. The talent is definitely there but these kids need experience and must learn to adapt to the demands of international cricket where they are found wanting," he said."It's not easy to found someone with 145kph pace, you need to do scouting and hunting for fast bowlers and I am sure there will be talent.

"The grounds in South Africa were green but you need a certain strategy to bowl, so until and unless they learn it they will not be able to turn their potential into performances."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here