Mohammad Akram was signed by Pakistan as their bowling coach for a two-year contract © Getty Images
Lahore: Feb 20, 2014
Pakistan’s bowling coach Mohammad Akram has said that the upcoming Asia Cup 2014 in Bangladesh will be a tough assignment for all teams and not just arch-rivals India but minnows Afghanistan too can pose serious threats on batsman-friendly conditions.
Akram, a former Test pacer who has been given a new two-year contract by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), said it was not just about India in the Asia Cup.
“I think overall it will be a tough tournament for all teams because in conditions which favour the batsmen even Afghanistan can be a threat,” Akram told reporters at the Gaddafi stadium.
“Even Afghanistan can’t be taken lightly in the Asia Cup and it is a competition that any team can win,” he pointed out.
“All the teams are tough customers in tough conditions but obviously the India match will be important. But the way our bowlers have been bowling in recent times I am confident we can do well.”
Asked to comment on India’s strong batting line-up, Akram said Pakistan possesses a formidable bowling attack to tame the willow-wielders of the neighbouring country.
“I will give you an interesting fact that in the 2200 overs we have bowled in Test and One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in last one and half year, our bowlers have just sent down four no-balls,” he said.
Insisting that this was an indication of how disciplined the bowlers were, he said in the last 55 matches Pakistani bowlers had bowled out a team 30 times for less than 200 runs.
“If I am not wrong only five times a team has crossed 300 against us in these conditions.”
Akram also talked about implementing a rotation policy for the Pakistani bowlers given the huge amount of international cricket being played these days.
“I have spoken to the two captains about having a rotation policy for the bowlers. With Mohammad Talha joining us and Umar Gul returning to the team, I think we have the back up to adopt a rotation policy,” he said.