Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Akram reveals ways to develop mental toughness

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 20:17 [IST]
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Lahore:Realising well that sustaining pressure would be the key to winning the high-profile series against India, legendary left-arm speedster Wasim Akram revealed ways to develop "mental toughness" to the Pakistani probables.

"I tried to pass the ways to develop mental toughness which I was told by my seniors Imran Khan and Javed Miandad in my younger days," Akram told reporters after his three-hour interaction with the probables at the camp on Wednesday.

"Playing against India means pressure and I have told the players to enjoy the pressure. If the players relax and enjoy playing cricket, their performance will be much better," he said.

"Pakistan's young crop of players is maturing very fast and they will give a tough fight to the Indian team. Anyway Pakistan is always a difficult side to beat in their own backyard," said Akram who also spent some extra time with speedsters Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami.

"They (Akhtar and Sami) are going to play a vital role in enhancing the team's performance but they should bowl to an accurate line and length."

Akram agreed that the Indian team had a strong batting line-up but said their bowling attack was relatively young.

"Their bowling is relatively young and inexperienced and Pakistan certainly has an edge in this department."

I think it is 50-50 because India's batting is very formidable and Pakistan's bowlers are good and it will all boil down to how well Pakistan bats and how well the Indians bowl," said Akram.

A lot of interest centred round Akram's visit to the camp where 24 probables are undergoing training under the watchful eyes of coach Javed Miandad.

The players gathered round the inspirational Akram to listen carefully to what the former player called a "motivation talk".

"Basically it was a motivation talk and I tried to convey to the players that they must enjoy the honour of playing against India. They will savour this moment in the years to come," he said.

"My knowledge of the game is for every young player and since I was asked to spent some time with the players I did that and told them to enjoy the pressure associated with Indo-Pak cricket.

"The best should come out when you are subjected to pressure and each time I played India I was told by Imran and Miandad to be mentally tough," he said.

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