ICL: Indian Cricket League

Inzamam urges batsmen to raise their game for one-dayers


Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq is urging his top order batsmen to raise their game following a Test series defeat in South Africa that was largely caused by the tourist’s twin batting collapses in the final Test in Cape Town last week.

“I believe in the theory that if you keep giving your batsmen enough opportunities, they would perform but there are times when you cannot be patient enough,” Inzamam said after Pakistan suffered a five-wicket defeat in the Cape Town Test on Sunday to lose the three-match Test series 1-2.

He said Pakistan have learnt from their mistakes in the Test series and would be making some changes in the top order for next month’s one-day series. Opener Imran Farhat has been made to pay the price for a sloppy display in the Test series as he has been dropped from the Pakistan squad for the one-day series against South Africa getting underway with a Twenty20 game in Johannesburg on Friday.

Imran, 24, made 20 and 13 in the final Test of a series in which he mostly got out while chasing deliveries outside the off-stump. He was not the only culprit as fellow opener Mohammad Hafeez and another top order batsman Yasir Hameed also failed to impress much in South Africa.

Pakistan bowled well in the series but were let down by their batsmen, especially in the decisive Test, something that has irked Inzamam. “I was really disappointed by the way some of our batsmen played in the final Test, especially in the second innings when we could have easily achieved a 250-run lead,” said Inzamam, who believes he was in a position to lead Pakistan to their first ever series triumph in South Africa.

In the final Test, Pakistan scored 157 in the first innings and later conceded a 26-run lead. The tourists were then bowled out for 186 on the second day of the match with only 161 runs to defend.

Inzamam pointed out that there were no real demons in the Cape Town pitch. “It was a difficult wicket but I still believe we could have scored 250 to 300 runs in the second innings, something that would have helped us win an important series,” he said.

Inzamam said that his team’s batting will have to improve in the lead-up to March’s World Cup in the West Indies. He said that batting failures and fitness problems blew away Pakistan’s chances of winning the series.

Medium pacer Umar Gul missed the entire series because of an ankle injury while fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar’s international return was halted by a hamstring injury after he took four vital wickets in the second Test which Pakistan won. All-rounder Shoaib Malik also missed the series because of injury but is expected to return to the side for the one-dayers.

Inzamam said that Pakistan would go into the One-day International (ODI) series with renewed zeal. “The coming matches would be very important because they come right before the World Cup,” he said.

Pakistan have made several changes to their team for the one-dayers having sent five players to join their teammates in South Africa. All-rounders Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, medium pacer Shabbir Ahmed, left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman and opening batsman Imran Nazir left for Johannesburg on Monday. Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, middle order batsmen Faisal Iqbal, Asim Kamal and opener Imran Farhat are returning home.

Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 and is filed under General.

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