Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has revealed how India batting legend Sunil Gavaskar helped him eliminate his weakness against short-pitched deliveries. The problem first surfaced when Inzamam went on England tour after Pakistan had won the 1992 World Cup. Also Read - Mirzapur 2 Makers Apologise to Hindi Author For Using His Novel ‘Dhabba’ in Erotic Scene
Recalling that period, the batting great said he was clueless about the English pitches and was particularly found short-pitched deliveries hard to negotiate. Also Read - From Lebanon to Palestine, Muslims Stage Anti-France Protests as Anger Against Prophet Cartoons Rises
“I went to England after 1992 World Cup at the back of a tremendous performance in the mega event,” Inzamam said on his YouTube channel. “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.” Also Read - Bigg Boss 14 October 30 Written Update: Eijaz Clears His Feelings With Pavitra, Nikki Calls Rahul 'Ghatiya Aadmi'
“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,” he added.
It was during that tour that Inzamam had a chance meeting with Gavaskar during a charity game where he spoke to the Indian about his 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?'” he said.
He continued, “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.”
Inzamam, who scored over 20,500 runs during his international career, implemented Gavaskar’s advise during net practice and soon his mindset changed.
“While in nets I started practicing the way I was told by him. I strengthened my mind, telling myself not to think about that. The weakness went away. And from 1992 till the time I retired, I never faced that problem again,” he said.
Inzamam, 50, said he wishes to have seen Gavaskar batting live and that him scoring 10,000 runs in cricket made it a reality that the mark can be breached.
“I wish I would’ve seen him live while he was batting. There were several great players in his era as well as before that. There were batsmen like Javed Miandad, Viv Richards, Garry Sobers and Don Bradman but none of them thought to reach to the figure.