Pak keeper Akmal practising on simulated surfaces for India series

November 14th, 2007 - 2:35 am ICT by admin  
Akmal, who has been criticised for his poor wicket-keeping skills of late, said that he realised the importance of the Indian tour for his career.

“I played in India in 2005 and have a fair idea of the surfaces that could be used in the Tests in particular. I have started training by concentrating on my keeping and takes off the spinners,” he said.

He admitted that it was tough to keep on slow Indian pitches.

“It has been hard for me to ignore calls to replace me. It adds to the pressure. I am learning to accept these things,” he said.

“I look at Boucher and Gilchrist, and I know I can take the pressure and also play for a long time,” Akmal said.

“I convince myself that if they can last for so long having battled through bad form or fitness issues, I know I can also do the same,” The News quoted Akmal, as saying.

Commenting on fitness, Akmal said: “Unless you are 100 per cent fit, I don’t think you can survive for long in international cricket. It has also helped me be mentally stronger and perform in pressure situations.”

“Cricket has changed. A wicket-keeper has to be able to bat like a proper batsman to keep his place in the team. The two (Boucher and Gilchrist) are prime examples. Our new trainer has helped me a lot. I am confident despite what people say that I can have a long career,” he added. (ANI)

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