Miandad prepares South African pitch in Lahore

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/j/javedmiandad.jpg' class='caption'> Former captain Javed Miandad has ordered a new grassy track at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore so that the Pakistani batsmen get the right kind of practice.

Updated: August 30, 2009 14:22 IST
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Former captain Javed Miandad has ordered a new grassy track at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore so that the Pakistani batsmen get the right kind of practice before landing in South Africa for the ICC Champions Trophy beginning next month.

Since he was appointed the batting consultant of the team, Miandad has been working on methods to prepare the batsmen.

For the starter, he has ordered the preparation of grassy three-foot wide pitches at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore where the 10-day national conditioning camp for the Champions Trophy begins from Tuesday.

"The idea is to get the batsmen to play on surfaces similar to those in South Africa. Cricket is all in the mind and if a player is mentally focused. he can succeed anywhere," Miandad said.

"The playing conditions and pitches at the Wanderers and Centurion grounds are conducive to pace bowling and our batsmen need to be prepared to cope with the conditions there," Miandad said.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has appointed Miandad, also Director of Cricket Affairs in the board, to help out the batsmen after a string of batting failures on the recent tour of Sri Lanka where Pakistan lost both the Test and one-day series.

"Cricket is a mind game. If a player is not confident, he will always struggle. They are always solutions to tackle different conditions," Miandad said.

Miandad, who has coached the team thrice in the past, said he didn't think players like Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Younus Khan, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi or Kamran Akmal had any major technical problems in their batting.

"They just need fine-tuning and my job is to prepare them mentally for the conditions in South Africa and for the type of bowling they will face in the Champions Trophy," he said.

Miandad said he had no intentions of trying to step on the toes of captain Younus Khan or coach Intikhab Alam.

"I have been given a specific task and I will do everything after keeping the captain and coach in the loop," he said.

Miandad also encouraged the young players to open up and seek advice from former players.

"It is unfortunate that our players are shy of asking seniors for help even when they are struggling. I remember when (Australian batsman( Dean Jones was struggling against Abdul Qadir, he flew to Sydney to meet Ian Chappell and discuss where he was failing. Chappell told Jones to play Qadir out of the crease. One simple tip and next match Jones scored a century. That is how important sometimes tips from seniors can be for the juniors," he said.

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