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Woolmer to work on mental blocks
Press Trust of India, PTI
Dharamshala, March 03, 2005
First Published: 13:36 IST(3/3/2005)
Last Updated: 13:36 IST(3/3/2005)
Pakistani coach Bob Woolmer says he will focus on easing the pressure on his young team to ensure it plays without any mental blocks during the high-voltage series against India.

"Essentially, in cricket, you create your own pressure by worrying about your own performance. And the more you worry about your performance, pressure builds on," Woolmer, a former English Test batsman and who led South Africa to World Cup final in 1999, said.

"My job is to try and reduce that feeling, tell the players to enjoy their cricket. Play every ball on its merit and don't get under pressure," he said as Pakistan kick-started their Indian campaign with a three-day match on Thursday.

"You can get carried away by the game, we all get carried away a little bit, after all this is a game of cricket. Pressure is to do with people affected by tsunami trying to find food, with the people of Iraq. As far as I am concerned my job is to alleviate that pressure."

Woolmer, who took over from Javed Miandad after the team lost to India at home last year, said he was enjoying the challenge of coaching Pakistan.

"It is lot of fun, they (players) accept the challenge in a very positive way. They are an energetic bunch of guys," he said.

"They have got unlimited talent. What I am trying to do is harness that talent and see that they come up as a strong side. Any coach will tell you he needs about five years. So you need to work with a team for a period of time to get to know them."

Woolmer led South Africa to a 2-0 win in India in 2000. Then, the visitors relied on their fast bowlers to accomplish the task. But this time around, the strategy might be a bit different, he said.

"Every team is basically the same. The difference between South Africa and Pakistan is that South Africa did not have lot of quality spin bowlers.

"Pakistan have in Danish Kaneria arguably, very soon to be, one of the best leg spinners in world cricket. I don't know how long it will take but it is upto him basically. But he has the potential to be one of the best.


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