Special drills await Pakistan players in Lahore training camp

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

KARACHI: With an eye on this September’s Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa, Pakistani team management has planned special drills for the second phase of the national training camp that got underway in Lahore on Tuesday.

Team manager Talat Ali told ‘The News’ that the Pakistani players would undergo a series of training sessions during the Lahore camp and once again the emphasis would be on improving their fitness and fielding skills.

In addition, the players would be asked to go through special drills designed at helping them improve their abilities to hit the stumps from various parts of the ground.

“I believe the team with fitter players and better fielders would have greater chances of doing well in the Twenty20 World Cup,”
said Talat, a former Pakistan Test cricketer.

“We want to take along super fit players to South Africa and would also assure that they improve their fielding abilities ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup because we believe these two aspects are of utmost importance when we are talking about this shortest version of the game,”
he added.

Talat said that in Twenty20 matches, there are more run-out opportunities and fielders who are good at hitting the stumps can be quite valuable.

“Getting two or three opposition batsmen run out can really help your cause and that can be achieved mainly through direct hits at the stumps. We would be carrying out special drills to help improve our players’ abilities to hit the stumps from various parts of the field,”
he said.
Pakistan are generally not regarded among the better fielding sides in the world and in spite of a lot of efforts by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), most of the national team players are still found lacking this area of the game.

Last month, the PCB staged a physical conditioning camp in Abbottabad where the players worked on improving their fitness and also underwent a lot of fielding drills.

Talat said that the team’s coaches would also be working with the bowlers in a bid to help them improve their abilities to contain an opposition.

“I think in Twenty20 matches, sometimes it is more important to contain an opposition than to take wickets which is why our bowlers will have to assure that they bowl to a neat line and length in the tournament,”
he explained.

Talat, who is also looking after the coaching aspect in the absence of a national coach, said that the team management has planned a series of Twenty20 matches among the camp probables next week.

“We would conclude this phase of the training camp with three Twenty20 matches. Those would game should help us judge our players’ strengths and weaknesses in this type of cricket,”
he added.

The manager said that the players would switch to a more advanced mode of training in the final phase of the T20 World Cup training camp scheduled to get underway in Karachi from July 26.

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