The Pakistan squad for Champions Trophy spent the second day of their conditioning camp in Abbottabad focusing on their batting. The players had a full-fledged session under the guidance of former players Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram, while the regular coaches, Dav Whatmore and Mohammad Akram, took a backseat. Misbahul Haq, Nasir Jamshed and Umar Amin were batched together for a batting session with Miandad, while the bowlers, Mohammad Irfan, Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan, also spent time working on their batting with help from assistant coach Shahid Aslam. Ajmal, who is expected to play a significant role with the ball, showed he has worked on his batting with a couple of excellent shots, a back-foot cut and a slog over midwicket.
Asad Shafiq, who scored four consecutive half-centuries recently in the President's Cup one day tournament, had an extended batting session for two hours. In the absence of Younis Khan, Shafiq will shoulder extra-responsibility in the Pakistan middle order. "I have batted on a track that helped bowlers and batsmen, a pitch similar to what we are (expecting) in England, "Shafiq said after the session. "My confidence is already up, after playing in South Africa. I am trying to avoid being complacent and am trying to maintain my rhythm from these training sessions."
"They are preparing but we need to see how they execute the plans in the matches," he said. "I always deem Pakistan as a favourite for such tournaments and with a proper planning we can beat any team anywhere." Akram said.
M. OSAMA AFNAN HANAFI,
Karachi, M ay 5.