India in Pakistan, 2005-06 January 8, 2006

Sami upbeat after tips from Imran

'I need to take more wickets' - Mohammad Sami © Getty Images

Mohammad Sami, the Pakistan fast bowler, has said he would play against India with a positive outlook and the will to prove his critics wrong that his temperament was not suited for international cricket. Sami, 24, said while carrying out bowling exercises advised to him by former Pakistan captain and great Imran Khan on Friday that he had been boosted with the positive remarks about him made by Imran. "It has not been easy for me. People tend to look at my averages but don't see how many Tests I have played abroad or at home on generally batting tracks. They don't see the number of times luck has simply not supported even some good wicket taking balls," he said.

But Sami said he had always been encouraged and supported by his captain, coach and teammates and Imran's visit to pass on some advice to him had come as a big confidence booster for him before the series against India. "It is a big series for me, no doubt about that. I know there are expectations from me and I need to take more wickets. But I have had some good spells and after some tips passed on by Imran I am positive about the coming series," Sami said while targeting one stump with the new ball.

Imran specially visited the Pakistan camp at the National Cricket Academy here on Friday and spent over an hour working with Sami, whose selection has been criticised by many critics and some former players who point out to his Test bowling average of 46. Sami has taken 65 wickets in 24 Tests and another 105 in 74 One-day Internationals. Sami said getting advice from Imran had come as a big help and he learnt one or two new things from the former fast bowler. "But he made it clear to me what line of attack I should adopt and spoke about the importance of being disciplined in the basics of fast bowling," he added.

Sami said he was looking forward to the Tests against India despite their strong batting line-up. "I am preparing myself for the challenge because they have some quality batsmen. But I am confident because I have bowled a lot to them in the last two years and I have got a feel of their individual batting traits at the crease."