SPORT

`Role of foreign coaches important at present'

COLOMBO, JULY 24. Describing the concept of foreign coaches as important at the present, Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq said one of the reasons for it being popular is the lack of tradition of professional coaches in the sub-continent.

"Earlier, what used to happen is, reputed former cricketers were appointed as coaches. They hadn't undergone any professional course, which these foreign coaches have done.

"Things are changing now. Even our players are attending coaches' courses. Give it four to five years and I don't think we would need foreign coaches in the sub-continent," he said.

Asked if his boys have adjusted to Woolmer, the skipper said, "To adjust from one coach to another takes some time. Javed bhai had his own approach while Bob has his system. He hardly worked with us for five-six days in Pakistan and then we came here for this tournament.

"For now, all I can say is that he is doing things differently and the boys are enjoying it, and Insha Allah, things will improve in the days to come.

"I must say Woolmer is also enjoying it. There are no communication problems between us at all. He is passing on his experience.

"He also needs time; probably six to eight months. But if you play a tournament and work together for a month, like how we are doing now, both he and the team will understand the situation."

Haq said the loss to Sri Lanka was just a bad day. "Considering the way we have been batting over the past year and a half, it was very unusual to get out for 122. It happens once in a while in cricket.

"But our bowlers did extremely well in trying to defend 122 and if we had another 60-70 runs I get the feeling the result may have been different. I'm happy with the way they bowled and hopefully in the games to come, it will be of great help."

On captaincy

"There is definitely a difference between being just a player and being the captain. There are obviously more responsibilities. As captain there are situations when you take the lead, show the way and bat like a leader.

"Essentially, all 11 players are alike, but then someone has to do the job. At the moment the responsibility is on me and I'm trying to fulfil it to the best of my abilities."

Focusing on the side's fitness, Haq said, "We haven't had much time to work as per our fitness schedule. We only had a 12-day camp, out of which we worked for 10 days and whatever physical exercises were done there were cricket-related."

Referring to the shortage of all-rounders in the side, the skipper said, "There is a lot of demand for all-rounders in the one-day format, but I believe in including only those who have performed. We already have two all-rounders in the team and as to who will play and who will not depends on the combination of the XI." — Sanjay Rajan

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