Champions Trophy 2013

Pakistan focus on batting improvement

Umar Farooq in Abbottabad

May 4, 2013

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Mohammad Irfan walks out for practice, Abbottabad, May 3, 2013
Mohammad Irfan had a light batting session on the second day of the conditioning camp © ESPNcricinfo Ltd./Umar Farooq
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The Pakistan squad for Champions trophy spent the second day of their conditioning camp in Abbottabad focusing on their batting. The players had a full-fledged session under the guidance of former players Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram, while the regular coaches, Dav Whatmore and Mohammad Akram, took a backseat.

Misbah-ul-Haq, Nasir Jamshed and Umar Amin were batched together for a batting session with Miandad, while the bowlers - Mohammad Irfan, Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan - also spent time working on their batting with help from assistant coach Shahid Aslam. Ajmal, who is expected to play a significant role with the ball, showed he has worked on his batting with a couple of eye-catching shots - a back-foot cut and a slog over midwicket.

Asad Shafiq, who scored four consecutive half-centuries recently in the President's cup one day tournament, had an extended batting session for two hours. In the absence of Younis Khan, Shafiq will shoulder extra responsibility in the Pakistan middle order.

"I have batted on a track that helped both bowlers and batsmen, a pitch similar to what we are (expecting) to get in England," Shafiq said after the session. "My confidence is already up after playing in South Africa. I am trying to avoid being complacent and maintain my rhythm from these training sessions."

"My plan is to bat for big runs as I know the responsibility in his [Younis] absence has gone up. As a team, we understand how important it is to score runs to support our bowlers, as our group is a tough one. It's in our minds that we have to be ready and have to give our hundred per cent to winning the opening game."

Akram, who arrived today for a two-day visit, cited batting as the key if Pakistan are to succeed. He said that the team's chances in Champions Trophy are 'bright' but batsmen need to contribute regularly. "If our batting clicks, our bowlers will follow it up on a good note," Akram said. "Our strength has been the bowling. Even in my era, we never felt comfortable chasing the target. So our batsmen need to score runs.

"The are indeed preparing well, but we need to see how they execute the plans there in the matchesm," he said. "I always deem Pakistan as a favourite for such tournaments and with a proper planning we can beat any team any where."

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by hotcric01 on (May 6, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

Pakistan haven't good chance this time.This squad seems to be unbalanced,without a proper fast bowling all rounder like Abdul Razzaq or Hammad Azam .Exclusion of Umar Akmal is also unacceptable.Although he had an ordinary domestic season,he is the best shorter format batsman in pakistan and has a lot of temperament.He has done well in these kind of conditions.Fast bowling also looks inexperienced bit without Umar Gul. SA and WI have a better chance this time to make it to the semis.

Posted by roook on (May 6, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

Pakistan are poor chasers any score above 250 is not chase able. Pakistan lacks a proper batsman at 4/5 position which has to bat till last. Like Dhoni is doing for India, Mathews doing for srilanka and nasir hossian doing for bangledesh. We are rely on shoaib malik who is the team from nowhere dropped asad shafiq, umar akmal for his performances in which he averages just 24 in last two series. 5th bowler is a allrounder we have neither develop a specialist allrounder as for afridi as we can go with 5 specialist bowler with this weak batting lineup which is a concern

Posted by xylofon on (May 6, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

Wasim Akram just completed the nationwide hunt for pace bowlers but what Pakistan needs even more is Javed Miandad and Inzi (or others) to do the same to find a couple of batters to groom for the world cup.

Also, its sad to see Afridi isnt going to england for the champions trophy, he knows the conditions real well.

Trick I have ben pondering for a long time: tell Hammad Azam "in your time there will always be better bowlers we can chose from so just concentrate on becoming the best batsman you can ever be." Id rather have Azam and Ahmed Shehzad performing at80% efficency level than Umar Akmal who performs 150% every ten match. Get it, people?

Posted by bestsetpk on (May 5, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

well gud work by the selection committe.i like the team except the inclusion ov wahab riaz.i dun wat people think askin for razzak nd umar akmal. those guys hav to perform at domestic level.nd haris sohail nd shoaib maksood r talented but need to use them at right time.thy mite be taken but couldnt hav playd.misbah nd malik deservd to b at their position.the 2 most experienced and sensible head in pak team.thy scord most runs in SA series.so people think clearly nd believe in this team

Posted by   on (May 5, 2013, 20:37 GMT)

Is there a single selected Pak batsman for which i can say he is better ODI batsman than Abdul Razzaq. Razzaq bowling is his extra ability, but his batting is far superior than Misbah, Hafeez, Malik, Kamran, etc These all are nothing in front of Razzaq. Why he is out of team. I bet PCB will never found a player like him again, sad!

Posted by   on (May 5, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

pak batting has always been a burden on there bowling. bastsmen like imran farhat shoib malik and kamran akmal are good for nothing.players like shoib maksood and harris shoel should be given a chance due to there recent form in domestic.plz groom umar akmel atlest keep him in the squd to gain experence. he is imense talented.why is wahab riaz and abdul rehman there in the squd. wahab is the worst in the current lot of fast bowlers.rehman is not going to get a single game.why not bring anwar ali and hammed azam in there place or even raza hassan.give these players some match and groom them fr world cup 2015. hope to see them play good cricket my heros in the campion trophy are nasir jamshed juned khan irfan and ajmel.hope to see some runs frm haffez and shafiq.

Posted by   on (May 5, 2013, 10:54 GMT)

some comments here for afridis inclusions are very funny. cricket is not played on past records. its played on recent performances. for past 2 years Afridis stats are too poor to justify a place where matches will be in Uk and already have ajmal & hafeez as spinners in team.

He should work on domestic level to regain his form and come back.

Posted by   on (May 5, 2013, 7:55 GMT)

where is haris shoil and shoiab maqsood . plz add haris shoil and shoaib maqsood for middle oder bats men . shoiab maqsood is like a virat koil and he scoured 417 in six mathes even misbah hafeez asad ashfiq did not bat like all under 320 but shoib maqsood bat super unbliverbal 427 in six mathes so plz sclect haris and maqsood for cpt . my team should be cpt is . 1.nasir jamsed 2.hafeez 3.karan akmal 4.maqsood 5.haris shoil 6.misbah ul haq 7.umar amin /hamad azam 8.junaid khan 9.irfan.10.asad ali 11. saeed ajmal . plz select this team for cpt i am a srilanka fan but i love pakistan

Posted by dmqi on (May 5, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

I have to do some comparison, after all the the team is for competition. Mr. Wasim Akram, how would you compare Dhoni, Sangarkara, AD with Kamral Akmal as wicket keeper batsman? How would you compare the top Pak batsmen with top SA , England and Indian batsmen? You are a great cricketer but I have very serious reservation in the batting ability of Pak team, you are little too optimistic there. They can not beat any team anywhere, because batting can not be learnt in 2 weeks. If you can, please bring Umar and Razzaque to boost the batting. Pl check how many people are asking for these two.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (May 5, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

The squad is fine. People please forget Afridi. He himself says that he is a bowler first and then a batsman. He hasn't picked wickets for the past couple of years and has leaked too many runs. His batting clicks once in a blue moon and that too in a losing cause (88 vs SA where Pak lost).

Ahmed Shahzad, Harris Sohail and Anwar Ali are the deserving players who have missed out this time. The squad is fine, don't start criticizing even before the tournament has started.

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