Pakistan must bat aggressively – Inzy

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Inzamam-ul-haq AFP Former Pakistan captain and now team batting coach Inzamam-ul Haq (centre) overseas a training session.

Islamabad – Pakistan batting consultant Inzamam-ul-Haq has advised his batsmen to play positively when the limited-overs series against archrivals India starts later this month and predicts the team that handles the pressure better will emerge the winner.

The former Pakistan captain will spend a week with the players at the training camp in Lahore before the team leaves for India on December 22.

“Whosoever plays aggressive cricket against India will perform better,” Inzamam said Saturday.

Inzamam was one of Pakistan's most successful batsmen in international cricket before retiring in 2007 after scoring 8,830 runs in 120 Tests and 11,739 runs in 378 ODIs.

Pakistan ARE scheduled to play two Twenty20s and three one-day internationals when the series begins at Bangalore on December 25. It ends in New Delhi on January 6.

It will be the first bilateral series between the two south Asian neighbors in five years since India last hosted Pakistan in 2007. The bilateral cricketing ties were suspended after terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008 killed 166 people, with India blaming Pakistan for the tragedy.

Inzamam played 67 ODIs against India during his illustrious career, scoring 2,403 runs with four centuries. The PCB has appointed Inzamam on a series-to-series basis to share his vast knowledge with the team.

“My effort is to pass on my playing experience to the players and I hope it will be helpful for them when they play against India,” he said. “Our players have played a lot against India and it's only about how to handle the pressure. Whosoever handles it well, he will play better. I will be discussing with the players how to chase, how to set the target and what's required from the batsmen.”

Inzamam, who led Pakistan in 22 ODIs against India and has a win ratio of 12-10, said Pakistan has plenty of individual match-winners in the squad but they need to play as a team against India.

“Pakistan has lot of players who could individually win matches for us, it's a good sign for Pakistan,” Inzamam said. “But it's a team game and the more players play it as a team, it will be beneficial to Pakistan team.”

Inzamam agreed Pakistan batsmen lacked in temperament – especially while chasing during international matches. But he blamed the proliferation of Twenty20 internationals for Pakistan batsmen's inability to stay longer at the wicket.

“In Twenty20, you need to score. There's not much involvement of technique in it; you have to score on good balls, too,” he said. “If we start playing 10-12 test matches every year, you will see improvement in our batting.”

The former Pakistan captain said the two teams are evenly matched.

“In T20 and one-dayers, it's difficult to pick a favourite, especially between Pakistan and India,” Inzamam said. “I think the way Pakistan team is, we can put pressure on India by playing attacking cricket.” – Sapa-AP


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