Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- ~~Fitness of Indian pace bowlers concerns me~~

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 18:30 [IST]
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Kolkata:India's newly-appointed bowling consultant Kapil Dev on Tuesday said that he was worried about the fitness problems of the young pacers and urged them not to overwork and get hurt in the process.

"I am concerned about their injuries. They should stay fit and that will be a big plus for them," Kapil told newspersons in Kolkata.

India's pace spearhead Zaheer Khan missed out on two Tests and the entire tri-series in Australia due to a hamstring problem, while seamer Ashish Nehra has been known to be prone to injuries.

"These players are in their twenties. They should take care of their food habits and lifestyle and not get carried away," the former Indian captain said, adding that "twenty is a very dangerous age, at this age people feel they can conquer the world and climb the highest mountains. In doing so they overwork and hurt their fragile bodies."

Asked what could be in store for players in Pakistan, Kapil said "what I have tried to do is to make them aware of certain aspects. Nothing should surprise them, they are expected to play cricket there and they should play it with all their passion and might."

On the pressure factor of playing the high voltage series, Dev said that the players should fully concentrate on the game and enjoy their cricket during the tour to overcome the problem.

"There is no question of pressure, they should go out and enjoy the game. Bowl with your chest out and everything else will be all right, there is no time for anything else if one focuses on cricket. They have to win and that's all that matters," he said.

The cricketing legend also exhorted the Indian players not to adopt a soft approach and curb their natural aggression during their Pakistan trip, which is being held as a 'Goodwill Tour'.

"People who require to be good will be good, players need to win the series for themselves and the country. This is a matter of life and death for these boys," he said.

"It's a question of their career, they should give everything and win it for their country'', Dev added. Asked about the advice that he had given to the leading Indian pacers as also the promising ones, Dev said, "I only want to pep them up and explain what I know. I am trying to build them up psychologically."

Dev said that he had not tried to introduce any big changes, as the duration of the conditioning camp was too short. "There is no chance of bringing about big changes in three days, I just want to give them more confidence and prepare them for the series."

Asked whom he would rate as the most talented pacer in the country, Dev said, "All those who play for the country are talented. There is no one who is bigger or smaller."

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