Pakistan turn to Inzamam and psychologist to beat India

Pakistan starts a week-long training camp on Friday for its landmark limited overs series against India with former captain Inzamam-ul Haq and a psychologist drafted in.

The Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Zaka Ashraf told reporters on Thursday that since a decision is yet to be taken on who will be the permanent batting coach of Pakistan, Inzamam had been persuaded to join the team as a batting consultant to share his experience and skills. 

"Inzamam will be working with the players, giving them tips and motivating them in the conditioning camps we are having for the series in India and then for the tour of South Africa," Ashraf said.

He also added that given Inzamam's standing in Pakistan cricket and his track record his presence should be a big motivating factor for the players as they prepare for the tour to India.


Inzamam-ul-Haq has joined the Pakistan cricket team as a batting consultant. File Pic

Inzamam, who played 120 Tests and 378 One-day Internationals before retiring in 2007, has also expressed his interest in working as a batting coach but Ashraf clarified that the former skipper would not be accompanying the team abroad but would only work with the players in the camps. He said the board had received some very good CVs for the position of batting coach and those were under consideration. "We have taken no decision on whether to appoint a foreign or local batting coach," Ashraf said.

Pakistan's former batting greats like Inzamam, Zaheer Abbas and Salim Malik have all shown interest in the job apparently placing the board in an uncomfortable position as neither have done any coaching courses but their position in Pakistan cricket makes it difficult for the PCB to reject them.

Pakistan have also drafted in a psychologist, an official said.

Ashraf said sports psychologist Maqbool Babri has also been selected to help motivate the players for the challenging tour.

"We hope that the team will perform well on the tour and for this balanced squads have been selected," said Ashraf, hoping star allrounder Shahid Afridi will win back his place on the one-day squad.

"For me every player is equal and we have a strict policy of merit. Afridi has been going through a bad patch and I hope he removes his flaws," said Ashraf of Afridi being dropped from the one-dayers but selected for the T20s.

India and Pakistan play two Twenty20s and three one-day internationals in their first series for five years, which starts later this month and comes after India resumed ties stalled in the wake of the 2008 attacks on Mumbai.

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