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Umar Akmal scored his sixth ODI half-century, first at a World Cup. —Photo by Reuters
The middle-order batsman stated that he was trying very hard to improve his game in the ongoing fast track training programme, underway at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.—Photo by Reuters

KARACHI: Pakistan’s most exciting batting talent Umar Akmal feels that he can play some major innings for the national team in the upcoming season as he is working hard to overcome his weaknesses.

Speaking to DawnNews, the middle-order batsman stated that he was trying very hard to improve his game in the ongoing fast track training programme, underway at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

Umar is part of the training programme where the batsmen are being coached by chief selector Mohsin Khan and former Test batsman Ijaz Ahmed. Umar feels that the camp is a step in the right direction and has helped him in ironing out his weaknesses.

Umar, who has been hailed as one of the brightest young batsmen around the world, made an impressive start to his international career two years ago when  he scored a century in his maiden one-day series against Sri Lanka in 2009. He then followed it up with a brilliant hundred against New Zealand the same year.

However, despite the splendid start to his career, Umar has failed to make full use of his natural ability.

He has often been criticised for throwing his wicket away at crucial junctures and for not being able to build his innings after getting set.

Mindful of the chinks in his armour, Umar has now claimed that he has overcome the weaknesses and cricket fans will see him playing with a great deal of responsibility in the season ahead.

He also added that he was ready to don the wicket-keeping gloves whenever needed as he was confident of his abilities behind the stumps and was ready to answer any call made by the team management.

Umar concluded by stating that he was focusing on making a big impression in the upcoming international season and making full use of his talent in order to serve the country to the best of his ability.

Comments (22) Closed

Ahmed Jul 14, 2011 03:02pm
I cant see how Umar Akmal and Asad Shafeeq and to a lesser exten Azhar Ali will overcome their flaw of throwing away wickets in 30's, 40's or 50's.... They seem to lack big match and big innings temperament.
EnterJabbar Chohan y Jul 14, 2011 10:17pm
Umar Akmal Needs to learn from Inzi and play like him.
Jawwad Jul 14, 2011 10:27pm
@Ahmed - By playing Test matches at home. That's where you score your most runs and gain the confidence to perform abroad.
Andy Jul 14, 2011 10:35pm
You are right, big innings temperament is what is needed. Hot rush of blood has destroyed many a batsman including Mr Afridi and the same holds for msany of our batsmen. We need very clear instructions from the coach and the team management regarding expectations on performance from these so called superstars and that has been missing. We need a scientific approach to correct people's flaws as has been practiced in Australia, for example. I am so surprised that Afridi could not be corrected. We also need encouragement from the management for our team and if they try the right management approach we can expect to see positive results.
Ghulam Hussain Jul 14, 2011 11:03pm
He is a good talent but is a slogger who likes to loft the ball without merit, which most of our pakistani batsmen have a habit off, because of the dry and slow picthes. they have to control their temprement and just control the rush of blood THAT'S ALL
Qasim Jul 14, 2011 11:39pm
It was lovely to see how easily he was hitting malinga and murali for sixes and that too on his maiden ODI series. He was then being compared to the stalwarts of the game like miandad and tendulkar. The comparison probably inflated his ego enough to start involving in the team politics. Hopefully he'd work on his temperament and start believing in himself a little more and importantly focus on playing for the country than conspiring to getting his brother back in the team. There can be no second thought that pakistan cricket needs this guy to play at his best.
hyder lalani Jul 15, 2011 05:15am
i think all 3 of them will be fine they all have good technique and has good future and i think with time and some experience they will be good batsmen in the future for pakistan
Impala Jul 15, 2011 06:40am
I hope you are Mr. Akmal. You have the talent but past is approaching fast for you.
Impala Jul 15, 2011 06:42am
Let us have the confidence in these 3 though I'd would tend to go more for Asad Shafeeq.
pardesi Jul 15, 2011 08:08am
For the most part their "flaws" are not technical. Proper guidance should take care of it. Not sure if Mohsin Khan is the right person to coach batting. He was flamboyant in his own way in his days. Umar, and Shahzad are similar in their ways. Ijaz was a good batsman, pretty much technically sound. They need professional help at academy level to overcome their temptation to be the hero! Rest will come with time and experience.
Sheeba Jul 15, 2011 09:56am
They will learn .. They are still young, and are a part of a broken team in terms of management and captaincy!
Farhan Nadeem Jul 15, 2011 10:29am
I fail to realise that why this impressive once compared to the little master for his batting abilities and technique would lose his following for his extravagant shot selection at the crucial spot of the game this early in his career. I consider him to be one of the finest young talent Pakistan has produced in the last decade. What lacks is the management and proper leadership that would let these athletes develop their career once they enter the "International Arena". I extend my sympathies to patron chief of PCB and request him to please consider bringing the dynamism and professionalism to the board before it gets too late. All the best Pakistan team and its fans.
Aftab Kenneth Wilson Jul 15, 2011 12:04pm
It is good to note that this youngster has finally realized about his flaws in the batting. One expects lot from Umar Akmal when ever he comes to bat. I hope with joining the camp he will learn lot from his seniors. I love his batting style but style alone does not works when one fails to come up to some expectation.
Maqsood Jul 15, 2011 03:38pm
I literally Believe Umar Akmal has that Dynamism to become the best echelon of Pakistan Cricket. All he requires at his end is temperament , mental Strength and the character to grind out difficult moments and phases rather to give his wicket away at crucial junctures where he is badly needed. Apart in correcting , he must not give out his natural attacking instincts and if he can bring some method to his madness he could just like become Sehwag and can win important matches for Pakistan.
Rizwan Masood Jul 15, 2011 05:06pm
Umar Akmal sorry but over-rated for no reason. Rizwan - US
karachigirl Jul 15, 2011 08:09pm
I think he is indeed one of the finest young batsmen in the world. He's a real match winner.
FMM Jul 15, 2011 10:49pm
It's all Mental at this level. Talent can get you in the team, but to perform well at this level consistently, you have to be decipline and mentally strong. I think that's what is missing from Pakistan cricket since Zaheer Abbas and Wasim Akram recently. Pakistani players are to immiture and they act like bunch of high school kids, which is not how a professional Cricket player is suppose to act. I know you don't see it like that but beleive me, I'm looking at it from the outside and I can see it miles away.
Saleem Usman Jul 16, 2011 07:55am
For a start take out the Reverse sweep and the Dil-scoop from your batting arsenal
tariq Jul 16, 2011 12:29pm
well dear mr Akmal you can always coorrect your technical flaws but what about your and bro Kamran mysterious ways of getting out at crucial junctures which has cost Pakistan many a matches?
Mansur Khan (Namibia Jul 16, 2011 01:33pm
Ridiculous...a player must be ready for his game before given a chance to represent his country, international games are not meant for training. Look at Ganguly, Tendulker, Inzimam, Miandad...the moment they stepped on the pitch only age and laziness could replace them. In cricket either you have it or not. All hard work is done during your learing stage my friends
KM Jul 17, 2011 05:59pm
Umar Akmal just needs to do one thing to improve his game. STAY OUT OF TEAM POLITICS and just concentrate on his game. So far he has been playing for himself and for Kamran Akmal. He needs to play for Pakistan.
Taimur Shahzad Jul 22, 2011 05:55am
Umar Akmal, one of the talented young middle order batsman of Pakistan cricket team. I hope we will soon see him in action.