Shahriyar is hoping Bob Woolmer, Pakistan's coach, can persuade one or other of Bob Taylor (174 dismissals in 57 Tests) or Jack Russell (165 in 54), two of England's best keepers of modern times, to work with Akmal. Akmal has missed several chances during the ongoing series against England, including two routine efforts off Marcus Trescothick in the third Test at Headingley when the opener was in single figures before making a second innings 58. Pakistan lost that match by 167 runs and with it the series as England went 2-0 up with one to play.
"Kamran Akmal is one of our finest players and Rodney Marsh - one of Australia's greatest glovemen - said he was the best wicketkeeper in the world last year," Shahriyar told bigstarcricket.com. "He's had a bad tour but he will be back. I'm going to ask Bob [Woolmer] if he can ask Bob Taylor or Jack Russell to work with him. I always thought that both of those guys were superb keepers. Kamran just needs a good match and a return to confidence."
Meanwhile, Shahriyar has also backed Woolmer and Inzamam-ul-Haq despite Pakistan's first Test series loss in 18 months. Pakistan cricket politics usually demand major changes after a series reverse but Shahriyar said he would resist calls for vice-captain Younis Khan to replace Inzamam as captain. "We aim to remain steady and calm," he said. "Last time we lost a series, the manager was sacked, and the captain (Mohammad Yousuf in Australia) was sacked. We don't believe in that.
"There are just a couple of things that have prevented us from moving forward. We have struggled to find opening batsmen, and have been unlucky with Shoaib Malik's injury. Hopefully he will return for the one-day series, while Mohammed Hafeez is also looking good having scored runs for the A team in Australia."