Pakistan news May 8, 2013

Pakistan focus on fitness in Abbottabad camp


Pakistan's cricketers focused primarily on fitness and batting skills during the six-day training camp in Abbottabad, which concluded on Wednesday, ahead of the Champions Trophy in England. The players returned to their hometowns and will reassemble on Monday in Lahore before departing for Scotland.

The weather in Abbottabad, at an altitude of 1260m, remained pleasant throughout the camp and the players took part in some practice matches. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said the players had ample time to gel.

"The purpose of coming here was that the team should train without any distractions," Misbah said. "It's a bit cooler here and the pitches had offered some movement for the batsmen to cope with."

Misbah also said the players needed to pay more attention to fitness. "We are seeking improvement in fitness, at least close to the requirements of international cricket. We are not there yet but we are trying to hit the benchmark.

"During the camp, you must have seen that fielding is directly associated with your level of fitness and we are working on both," Misbah said. "We understand that if your fitness and fielding does not improve you will suffer in international cricket, especially in T20 and one-day cricket."

Misbah said the team's defeats in South Africa had made his players mentally stronger. "In South Africa we played some tough cricket in tough conditions and the boys will benefit from it mentally. You get ready to face difficulties and I think our performance will be good in the Champions Trophy."

Opening batsman and T20 captain Mohammad Hafeez had rigorous net sessions, mainly working on his technique against seam bowling. Hafeez had a poor tour of South Africa, where he scored only 43 runs in the Tests and 118 in the ODIs, and was dismissed by Dale Styen on six occasions.

Pakistan's coach Dav Whatmore said it was more of a skills camp. "Obviously this is not the northern hemisphere, but it's a destination where we can achieve a few things," he said. "This is not a conditioning camp, this is skills camp because we are close to the competition. We are pretty happy with what we got, we had some bad (rainy) weather on Sunday but we managed to get 70 overs for ample match practice."

Pakistan had lost the Test series in South Africa 3-0 but fared better in the one-dayers, losing 3-2. "In the last series we were one game from winning the series," Whatmore said. "We are okay, we just needed to improve on a couple of areas and we would have been a series winner.

"Chances in the Champions Trophy is difficult to predict accurately, but I tell you what this team has got the ability. If we play to our potential we can put pressure on any team. Our goal is obviously to win it."

Pakistan will play two ODIs each against Scotland and Ireland later this month before taking on West Indies, South Africa and India in its Champions Trophy Group B matches.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zaf on May 12, 2013, 23:20 GMT

    Prefect fit 32 years Boom Boom fitness much better than 40 years old Mr.tuktuk.

  • Cricket on May 10, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    Umar Gul since the World Cup -->;spanmin1=01+Apr+2011;spanval1=span;template=results;type=allround

    Since the World cup Gul has played 28 ODI's , scored 130 runs at an average of 10.83 and taken 28 wickets at an average of 38.32 - Pathetic to say the least.


  • Cricket on May 10, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    S.Malik since the world cup -->;spanmin1=01+APR+2011;spanval1=span;template=results;type=allround

    since the world cup S.Malik has played 19 ODI's , made 233 runs at an avg of 17.92 And taken 6 wickets at an average of 31.33 , fiftiies - NONE.

    Malik bats much above Afridi.


  • Cricket on May 10, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    Afridi since the World Cup -->;spanmin1=01+apr+2011;spanval1=span;template=results;type=allround

    Post World cup Afridi played 34 ODI's scored 534 runs at an avg of 21.36 with 3 fifties. Furhter he claimed 35 wickets at an avg of 37.82. also he has taken 7 catches.

    Now anyone can compare these stats with Misbah, Hafeez, S.Malik, U.Akal, Y.Khan, U.Gul, W.Riaz, Kamran and you wll know why people want BOOM-BOOM in the team. Moreover, his agressive brand of cricket is required by pakistan.


  • Dummy4 on May 10, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    @Farrukh.91 the thing is its been two whole years since WC2011 and Afridi's performance has been extreely poor since then. You cant just pick him because he bowled well in a tournament 2 years ago that will be unfair to the guy who he replaces. He really needs to get back his bowling form to be in the team as no matter how well he is batting he cant be picked for his batting alone as he is just that unpredictable. Umar's case is different, he was given a fair amount of chance but he hasnt been able to adopt a more responsible attitude. He is ruining his career by becoming another Afridi which is soo sad because unlike Afridi he has the skill and technique to be a successful batsman in all formats of the game. It is advisble to keep giving him his chances as he is still young but certainly not in an important tournament like this which will be too risky.

  • Cricket on May 10, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    Pakistan's performance has always depended on one thing. FIELDING. Whenever they have fielded well and taken their catches the results have been good for them. But when ever they drop catches, especially early on in the game, they ALWAYS LOOSE.


  • Dummy4 on May 9, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    I think after the defeat in SA,it seems to me that they are doing right things.One of my biggest worry is batting. We should select the playing eleven keeping in mind players ability to deal swinging delivery. Selectiors should also consider opponent and our best players for that opponent. Our strength should be utilized fully against the weakness of opponent.Fielding should be upto mark. Captain should bring the bowler and batsman as per situation in match instead of routin change.

  • zaf on May 9, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    PCB should search & pick natural talented players. We need good batting players similar to Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abass, Imran Khan. Javed Miandad played in streets and due to natural talent became world class batsman. In six days training you can't change or convert any player skills to boob boom.

  • zaf on May 9, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    Misbah and Asad Safiq should leave ODI/T20. PAK should add fast players for UK tour, AFRIDI, Razzak, Ahmed Shahzad, Imran Nazir, Awais zia, Shahzeb Hasan, Hamad Azam, Reza Hasan.

  • Farrukh on May 9, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    I really love Abbottabad Cricket Ground is the most beautiful , owsome , outstanding in the world.........i believes one day International cricket will b play of luck PAKISTAN Cricket team...

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