Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Computer expert assists Pakistan bowlers

Published: Saturday, October 19, 2002, 0:08 [IST]
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Karachi:A top computer expert said he is helping Pakistani bowlers to analyze Indian batting powerhouse with their data-based planning for the much awaited cricket series starting next week.

"We have made extensive planning to help our bowlers set virus in strong Indian batting and we hope that this planning would work to the best effect," Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) computer wing head Ejaz Sandhu said.

The ice-breaking series commences with the first of five One-day games in the southern port city of Karachi on March 13, three days after India fly into Lahore on their first tour of Pakistan for 15 years.

"Nearly all the cricket teams of the world take advantage of the data based systems but Pakistani players and management are for the first time taking keen interest and almost all the players have gone hi-tech for the series against India," said Sandhu, a PhD in image processing from Toulouse, France.

The series is billed as a contest between a formidable Indian batting boasting of stars like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Vekatsai Laxman and Sourav Ganguly while Pakistan's bowling armoury has express pacer Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami and Shabbir Ahmed.

"Based on the data and video footage of the last two years we have planned tricks on how to get the Indian batsmen out through their weak points and habitual shots," said Sandhu, who has two assistants and Khawar Rabbani as team's computer analyst.

"We know how leading Indian batsmen get out and which are their weak areas but we have disclosed that to only our bowlers," said the expert.

PCB introduced the computer lab and appointed former Pakistan pacer Sikander Bakht as analyst in 2002 but due to lack of interest shown by some of the players and after team's humiliating first round exit in the World Cup, the lab was shut down and the analyst removed.

But Sandhu insists all the players now know how to use the laptop computers.

"Yousuf Youhana takes the most interest and has taken his one year data to improve on his batting, pacer Mohammad Sami is keen on overcoming his tendency of bowling no-balls and wides while Shoaib Akhtar is interested in getting more and more information," said Sandhu.

"Coach Javed Miandad is so supportive for this system and urges the players to get this help as much as they could." The expert said not only Indian batting but his team has also analyzed Indian bowling.

Pakistan team manager Haroon Rasheed said the use of computer is more effective in improving team's own performance rather than targeting opponent's weaknesses.

"Pakistani players are using computer system to improve their own performance rather than trying to find chinks in our opponents' armoury," said Rasheed, a former Pakistan batsman.

India arrives in Pakistan on March 10 for a five-match One-day and three-match Test series.The first One-day International is scheduled for Karachi on March 13.

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