After being given the responsibility to fine-tune the skills of a struggling fast-bowling unit, former Pakistan paceman Sarfraz Nawaz has promised a better show from the pack in the upcoming Asia Cup.
Sarfraz, whose short stint included working with fast-bowlers Wahab Riaz, Aizaz Cheema and all-rounder Hammad Azam, was given the role to work with the pacemen after Aqib Javed resigned from his post of bowling coach after accepting an offer to be the UAE head coach.
Sarfraz conducted a short training camp – which will end today – at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore and said that a visible improvement will be observed when the fast-bowlers take the field in the Asia Cup.
“People will be able to tell the changes in the fast-bowlers,” Sarfraz told The Express Tribune. “I’ve worked with them on a number of aspects including removing some technical flaws.
“As far as fast-bowlers are concerned, I’m confident of a good show from them in the Asia Cup.”
Pakistan pacemen came under fire after their poor show against England where the team lost in the limited-overs leg of the series with former fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar calling the board to hunt for fresh talent.
However, Sarfraz said that the bowlers showed improvement during the four-day camp, adding Riaz’s run-up was increased after the left-armer was seen struggling with a shorter run.
“He often looked uneven but from now on he will be bowling with a comparatively longer run-up. He has improved a lot and hopefully he will be more useful for Pakistan.”
The former fast-bowler added that Cheema and Azam have increased their pace and were impressive during the camp.
‘Misbah satisfied with improvement’
Sarfraz added that captain Misbahul Haq and Umar Akmal were also impressed with the change as they faced the pacemen during the camp.
“Misbah complained that pacers were not utilising the new balls effectively but now he’s satisfied.”
Meanwhile, as the board sought Aqib’s replacement, Sarfraz made himself unavailable for the job. “I cannot travel with the team because of my business commitments. But I have agreed to work in honing the raw talent here.”
High hopes after Whatmore’s appointment
Pakistan hope that new coach, Australia’s Dav Whatmore, can find a magic formula to transform the country’s talented players into a team that enjoys sustained, match-winning success.
Intikhab Alam, head of the coach-hunt committee that approved Whatmore, is pinning his hopes on the Australian.
“I think the missing ‘more’ in Pakistan cricket will be achieved through Whatmore,” Alam told AFP. “I hope he’ll enhance the team’s performance, though it will take some time.” (With additional input from AFP)
“We want to be consistent. We don’t want peaks and troughs. We want the team to be at a good level for a long period. When we’re brilliant there will be peaks, but we want to still perform and win games when we’re not brilliant.”
“With his perfect record I hope Whatmore will enhance the team’s performance. It is the coach’s responsibility to bring more consistency, but at the end of the day it is important players also do their best and listen to the coach.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2012.