Thatscricket - News - Imran, Wasim ready to help Pak bowlers

Published: Thursday, February 12, 2004, 19:27 [IST]
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Karachi:Former cricket greats Imran Khan and Wasim Akram agreed to bolster Pakistan's bowling arsenal with a One-day pep talk ahead of next month's much awaited series against arch rivals India.

"The PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) had approached me for some coaching but since I am busy I have agreed to do a peptalk with the bowlers before their series against India," Khan said on Wednesday.

Pakistan hosts India for the first time since 1989-90 for a three-match Test and five-game One-day series in March-April.

The last hurdle on the tour is security concerns by some Indian players for which a three-member Indian delegation is touring Pakistan to assess security.

The delegation has assessed security in Lahore and Rawalpindi and on Wednesday toured Peshawar, near the border with Afghanistan, a venue rejected by South Africa and New Zealand on tours last year.

"There are two specific things: mental strength and technical aspects and for me mental strength will count more against India as on form India looks better," said Khan, who took 362 wickets in 88 Tests and 182 wickets in 175 one-days between 1971 to 1992.

"We were a weaker side on paper on our tour to India in 1987 but handled the pressure well and won the series and this forthcoming series will also be won by a team which is stronger mentally," said Khan, now a member of Federal Parliament.

Khan said India has shown vulnerability under pressure.

"I agree to Sunil Gavaskar's assertion that Indians are chokers, the way they buckled under pressure proves they are vulnerable," said Khan, who took a record 40 wickets against India in six-match series in 1982-83.

"Pakistan's team has done well in New Zealand and I will give them an overall talk on how to handle mental pressure against India," he added.

Khan's protege Wasim also believed Pakistani bowlers have an edge over the Indian attack."After what I saw in Australia I can say that the Pakistani attack with Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami has an edge over Indian bowling but it will depend how the home attack pressurises the Indian batting power house," Wasim said.

"I am ready to pass any advice but it will depend on my commentary assignments," said Wasim, who commentated during India's tour of Australia.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq had also said home bowlers will improve a lot if they are given advice by Khan and Wasim.

Akram wants India to tour Pak with open mind

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