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Fitness, fielding big worries before WC: Intikhab

KARACHI: Pakistan’s manager Intikhab Alam believes that fielding and physical fitness were key areas that needed to be improved drastically before crucial international fixtures before the 2011 World Cup.

pakistan training gadaffi“What we witnessed during the last series against South Africa was not up to par…we would like to focus on those areas,” Alam told APP in an interview on Wednesday as his team trained for the upcoming tour to New Zealand.

He said lessons were learnt from the fitness problems of Mohammad Yousuf and Wahab Riaz in UAE during the South Africa series which had left the team considerably weaker.

He said that coach Waqar Younis and the rest of the staff was working hard on these areas.

“We did well in batting and bowling departments against South Africa but must improve in fielding and fitness,” he said. “We have to make these the bench mark.”

Pakistan will fly to Auckland via Hong Kong from Karachi on December 18.

Commenting on tracks in New Zealand, he dispelled the impressions that they will be bouncy.

“There will be seam and swing on New Zealand pitches,” he said, mindful of the fact that this could pose a threat for the Pakistani batsmen.

He described the recent series against South Africa as a great success.

“It was very heartening that the Pakistan team put up a fighting show against a formidable South African which is placed second in the ICC Test rankings. Overall it was an impressive show by the boys,” Intikhab said.

He said left arm spinner Abdur Rehman put up a good show against South Africa and he will lead the spin attack.

Alam also said off-spinner Saeed Ajmal was not very successful against South Africa and it will be good opportunity for him to prove his worth in New Zealand.

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