Pak coach to use domestic cricket as preparation for India series

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Lahore, Nov 1 (UNI) With plans to prepare the national probables for the crucial India series next year, new Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam feels the players should concentrate on top level domestic cricket rather than going for dull paced camps.

The national coach stressed that the forthcoming home Test series against the arch-rivals would be an important one and there was no better way to prepare than to put the probables into competitive cricket.

''I would say there is no better way to prepare national team probables than to make them play every competitive match of the forthcoming Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. It is useless organising and arranging long duration camps when the top domestic competition is in progress,'' Intikhab was qouted as saying by 'The News'.

On whether a long layoff from international cricket would affect the team in the series against India, Intikhab said it would also have a positive side.

''I admit that Pakistan has played no Test cricket for almost a whole year now, but at the same time India have played too much cricket and must be feeling exhausted by the time they play the series against Pakistan starting at the turn of year,'' he quipped.

He hoped that as the players had not played any Test cricket for a long period, they would be in a position to play their best game. ''By the time the Indians would be here, the probables after playing good and hard domestic cricket would be in a better position to deliver.'' Speaking about his role as the national side's coach, the former Test player said coaching is all about man management.

''Most of the boys emerging to the forefront already have the knowledge of basic coaching. What a coach does is to make slight adjustments in the technique of a player if he goes wrong somewhere or to work mentally on him if he has got a habit of committing the same mistake regularly. Actually coaching is all about man management and if you succeed on that front you are considered a successful coach,'' he felt.

The former Pakistan captain said maintaining discipline and creating a friendly and easy going atmosphere in the dressing room is also an important job of the coach.

''A coach is the one who earns respect from the boys leading by example. Cricket is all about discipline, patience and training and learning in friendly atmosphere,'' the 67-year-old said.

Intikhab, who has also played matches along with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt, said he had got all the support and backing from the top.

''I am lucky to have got a chairman who knows me when we were playing together. It is always easy to do your job when you feel you would not get interrupted.'' The Pakistan team is likely to be announced on November 3 and will assemble in Karachi on November 7. They will also have back to back meetings and fielding session before the squad moves to Abu Dhabi for a short three-math one-day series starting from November 12.

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