ICL: Indian Cricket League

Pakistan started preparations for the World Cup

Written by Kashif Aziz on April 22nd, 2006   (203 views)

Pakistan cricket team’s captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has said that preparations for the 2007 World Cup have began in earnest from the two One-day International (ODI) matches played against India in Abu Dhabi very recently.

Inzamam, who returned home immediately after the second ODI ended on Wednesday night, said Pakistan had number of plans in mind as part of their preparations for the next World Cup. “The matches we play now will give us an opportunity to try out different things and try to find viable plans for the World Cup,” he said.

The Pakistan players are returning home from Abu Dhabi in batches with coach Bob Woolmer, trainer Murray Stevenson and physiotherapist Darryn Lifsun all flying straight out to South Africa on their one-month annual vacations.

They will return to Lahore in mid May to start preparations for the England tour that starts from June 22 with the team playing a one-dayer in Scotland before flying to London.

Inzamam said one of the plans was to send Younis Khan in at number three with him batting at number four. “I started batting lower down the order because I was not batting well. But now I’ve decided to go at number four preceded by Younis Khan at three. Our main intention would be to play maximum number of deliveries between us, so that we can control the situation. Younis can build the innings and my job would be to steady that,” the veteran batsman said.

On the Shahid Afridi issue, he said Pakistan would play according to a plan. “People can come early and watch Afridi in the nets. According to our current planning, Imran Farhat and Shoaib Malik will open. We’ll use Afridi as a surprise weapon but at the same time I’d like to have a flexible batting order.”

“As a captain I’ve to see the balance and interest of the team despite the fact that Afridi is a successful cricketer.”

Inzamam said Pakistan was gradually gaining confidence and what it now needed to do was carry its form of recent in Test matches into ODIs. “We are also gradually gaining in confidence and you must agree that in the recent past we did well in the Tests,” he stated.

“We’ve beaten England, India, Sri Lanka and the West Indies in Tests. We’ve to convert our Test form into one-day cricket too. I’m sure we’ll pick up gradually,” he added.

On comparisons being made between Mohammad Asif and Australian great Glen McGrath, Inzamam was very clear in his mind that young Asif still had a long way to go. “One should not form an opinion by seeing someone play good cricket in only one or two series. Asif has to be consistent. Glenn McGrath has been playing for almost a decade and a half and Asif has just started. He’s bowling well and I’d like to keep him fresh for the 2007 World Cup.”

About his back problem, Inzamam said he had to reduce weight to avoid the pain. “During the last India-Pakistan series at home, I could not play well because of severe backache but the situation is much better now.”

He also blamed a communication gap for his surprising absence from the cup-unveiling ceremony a day before the first ODI on Monday. ‘’I was not informed about it, no one told me about the programme,’’ Inzamam said.

Source: The News

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Technorati Tags: Pakistan, Inzamam, World Cup, Abu Dhabi, Bob Woolmer, England, Scotland

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