Switch to Test mode, Intikhab's advise to Pak cricketers
As Pakistan is gearing up to take on Sri Lanka during the three-match Test series in latter's own backyards, coach Intikhab Alam has advised his cricketers to shrug off Twenty20 hangovers and concentrate on techniques suitable for the five-dayers.cricket Updated: Jun 28, 2009 18:12 IST
As Pakistan is gearing up to take on Sri Lanka during the three-match Test series in latter's own backyards, coach Intikhab Alam has advised his cricketers to shrug off Twenty20 hangovers and concentrate on techniques suitable for the five-dayers.
Besides the Test matches, Pakistan will also take on the islanders in a five-match ODI series and a one-off Twenty20 match during the tour.
"The batsmen have to display better performance and cut out high risk shots that are acceptable in T20 cricket. They must concentrate for long periods if we have to gain the upper hand against Sri Lanka. We need to peg down one end and attack from the other to be successful in Sri Lanka," Alam said.
Alam, himself a former Test cricketer, also welcomed the return of senior player Mohammad Yousuf, who parted ways with the 'rebel' Indian Cricket League, into the national fold.
"We have some fine players and the return of Mohammad Yousuf is good news as he is a quality Test batsman. But I think despite all the experience, we need to focus and concentrate on the task ahead of us," Alam said.
"I have told the batsmen and bowlers to forget about the T20 format of the game to make a successful transformation to the longer version of the sport," he added.
Pakistan recently clinched the T20 World Cup title in England.
On the possibility of fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's return for the ODI series against Sri Lanka, Intikhab made it clear that the paceman has to prove himself fully fit first.
"He has to prove he is 100 per cent fit to be considered for selection," he said.
Akhtar was withdrawn from the country's T20 World Cup squad before the team's departure, following the Pakistan Cricket Board's medical panel advised him rest to recover from a skin infection.
Rumors were doing the rounds in recent days that Akhtar was contemplating about retiring from the Test cricket and concentrating on winning back his place in Pakistan's ODI and T20 squads.