MANCHESTER: Former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has revealed that during Pakistan team’s tour to England in 1992 he was facing difficulty to deal with short-pitched balls but a small tip by Indian batting great Sunil Gavaskar helped him overcome that problem forever.
“I went to England after 1992 World Cup at the back of a tremendous performance in the mega event. It was my first ever tour to England. I didn’t have any idea as how should I play on those pitches. I was going through a bad patch as I was unable to play short-pitched deliveries.
“Playing these [short-pitched] balls had always been my plus point. And prior to that tour, these balls never troubled me as I used to negotiate them very well,” Inzamam said in a video on his YouTube channel.
He recalled how during a charity match he came across the legendary Indian batsman and sought his advice to resolve that problem.
“It was somewhere half of our season that I met him at a charity match in England. We both had gone to play that match. And asked him ‘Sunil Bhai I’m facing problems to play short-pitch balls, what should I do’?
“As great are the ways of the great, he told me to do only one little thing. He asked my while playing don’t think about short-pitch balls or bouncers because the moment you’ll think about that you’ll get trapped.
“He told me that when the bowler would deliver the ball you would automatically understand; so don’t get worried about that.
“While in nets I started practicing the way I was told by him. I strengthened my mind, telling myself not to thinks about that [short-pitched balls]. The weakness was removed. And from 1992 till the time I retired, I never faced that problem again,” added the 50-year-old Inzamam, who scored 8,830 runs in 120 Tests and 11739 runs in 378 ODIs.
He said great players like Sunil had so much understanding of the game that they could solve a big problem through a small tip.
Inzamam wished to have played against then Indian side for whom Sunil had been playing. “I wish I would’ve seen him live while he was batting.”