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Pakistan replicating Australian conditions in training camp, says Umar Gul

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RAWALPINDI: Pakistan have replicated Australian conditions at the Pindi Cricket Stadium here to prepare for their upcoming three-match Test tour Down Under, the team’s fast-bowling coach Umar Gul said on Thursday.

According to Gul, who was re-appointed in the position following the resignation of his predecessor Morne Morkel, the practice pitches at the venue of Pakistan’s ongoing training camp have been prepared to support bounce and seam, common traits of Australian surfaces.

“Playing in Australia is always tough,” Gul told reporters on the opening day of the six-day training camp. “Getting ready for it requires a lot of hard work.”

 Pakistan’s bowling coach Umar Gul speaks during a media talk on Thursday.—White Star
Pakistan’s bowling coach Umar Gul speaks during a media talk on Thursday.—White Star


Gul said the Pakistan bowlers were being trained to bowl long spells in Australia through separate sessions with the new and the old ball.“After bowling with the new ball, the bowlers are asked to take part in the fielding drills before they return to bowl with the new ball,” said the 2009 T20 World Cup winner.

Pakistan have included seven pacemen in their 18-member squad for the tour. The only two mainstays in the attack are Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali while the remaining fast bowlers are either uncapped (Aamer Jamal and Khurram Shehzad) or appear sporadically (Faheem Ashraf and Mir Hamza) to represent Pakistan.

“Shaheen, especially, is in good rhythm,” Gul said. “Aamer and Khurram are also doing well because they have been consistently playing four-day and one-day games lately.”

Gul, who is a part of a fresh Pakistan coaching staff, which includes team director Mohammad Hafeez and spin bowling coach Saeed Ajmal, believed the team had decent bowling resources to compete in Australia.

“I think we have a very good bowling attack,” he said. “It includes the guys who have performed well in the domestic circuit as well as the seasoned likes of Shaheen and others.”

Pakistan will be led by new Test captain Shan Masood in the series following Babar Azam’s resignation as the all-format captain after the team’s dismal show in the recently-concluded World Cup. They will open the campaign with a four-day practice game against the Australian Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra from Dec. 6.

The three Tests will be held in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney from Dec. 14, 26 and Jan. 3 respectively.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2023

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