Inzamam-ul-Haq, Javed Miandad advice Pakistan cricketers to

Inzamam-ul Haq asked the Pakistan players to play their natural game against India © Getty Images

Karachi: Dec 22, 2012

Pakistan‘s national team players on Saturday received some valuable tips from former skippers Inzamam-ul-Haq and Javed Miandad, who advised them to play their “natural game” and control the “nerves”, during the tour of India.

The team today arrived in New Delhi en route to their flight to Bangalore for the first bilateral series with India since 2007.

“I have told them to forget about technical issues when it comes to batting. Just go and play your natural game and shut out the pressures that come naturally with the big crowds in India,” Inzamam said.

Inzamam, who is Pakistan’s most capped player with 120 Tests and 378 One-day International appearances, worked with the players as batting consultant during a conditioning camp ahead of the tour.

Inzamam paid specific attention to the problems faced by flamboyant all-rounder, Shahid Afridi, who has scored two half centuries in the practice matches.

“Once you start feeling the pressure you start to struggle. That is the beauty of Indo-Pak cricket contests,” he said.

He recalled that when he went to India as captain in 2005 he told the players to relax and enjoy the game and the results were positive.

“I remember most of the batsmen got runs including myself, Younis (Khan) and (Mohammad) Yousuf.”

He said the pressure of playing in India can only be handled by working as a close knit unit.

“A tour to India is different from other tours. The expectations to win are very high from our own people and defeats and poor performances are not forgotten easily.”

This will be the first bilateral series between the two countries since the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.

Miandad, who played 124 Tests, said that the present Pakistan team didn’t have any outstanding talent as was the case in the past.

“The tour is significant from every angle. I have advised the players to stick together and enjoy the tour and play positively. We have a sent a good team and they should click, but people must remember that victory and defeat are part of the game,” he said.

Chief selector, Iqbal Qasim maintained that Afridi has every chance of being retained for the One-day series provided he does well in the T20 matches.

“I think his being dropped for the One-day series has been a wake-up call for him. It was not an easy decision to drop him because he is such a popular figure in Pakistan cricket.

“But already he is back in form and doing well and that is a good sign for us. If he does well we have told the team management they can request us to retain him for the ODI series.”