'One or two tips don't make an Irfan Pathan'

Published: Monday, April 5, 2004, 20:49 [IST]
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Lahore:Legendary cricketer Wasim Akram on Sunday swept aside criticism that his tips to Indian seamer Irfan Pathan has backfired on the hosts in the on-going series.

"One or two tips do not make an Irfan Pathan, I just told him few basics about how to bowl and how to train and it's his greatest asset that he learnt quickly," said Akram.

"It is amazing how people think. Pathan has worked really hard and it is his credit that he came out with flying colours on a placid track in Multan," said the left-arm pacer who retired from international cricket in May last year after picking 414 Tests and a world record of 502 One-day wickets.

Akram did not think the 19-year-old Baroda speedster did anything extraordinary other than bowl with discipline in Multan where India beat Pakistan by an innings and 52 runs for their first-ever Test triumph in this country.

"I don't think Pathan bowled extraordinarily. He just bowled straight and made batsmen play five out of six balls and was ably supported by Balaji."

Pathan, who looks up to Akram as his idol, took some tips from the seasoned pacer during India's tour of Australia earlier this year.

"He (Pathan) came to me to ask about some basics of bowling and how to maintain fitness," said the former captain.

Akram had something heartening for the Pakistani bowlers as well saying "to me Pakistan bowling attack is still the most potent in the world."

But he conceded the bowlers "must learn to bowl straight and remember that batsmen nowadays don't fear pace."

He rued that Pakistan went into Multan Test with a negative mindset. "If you enter a Test with a negative mindset it never helps you. Pakistan chose a bad track and to their disadvantage, they lost the toss and were thrashed by Virender Sehwag. But still there are two Tests to be played and Pakistan has the potential to beat India," he said.

Akram, who attended a seminar on Diabetes in Islamabad before flying back to Singapore, also denied that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had approached him to serve as bowling coach.

"I know there has been a lot of talk about bowling coach for Pakistan team and my name was suggested by Imran Khan but for the next one year I am associated with commentary, may be after that (I will consider)."

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