Inzamam-ul-Haq reveals how Sunil Gavaskar helped him to play short-pitched deliveries
While praising the former Indian captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq said that before Gavaskar, nobody could even think that scoring 10,000 runs in Test cricket is possible.
Updated - Jul 13, 2020 2:52 pm
Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq showered praises on former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar as he celebrated his 71st birthday on Friday. A plethora of cricketers extended their wishes to Gavaskar on his birthday.
Following the suit, Inzamam also recalled some of the fond memories with the legendary batsman and also revealed how a piece of batting advice from Gavaskar made a big impact on his cricketing career.
Sunil Gavaskar was perhaps one of the greatest opening batsmen of his time. He was the first batsman to reach the milestone of 10,000 runs in Test cricket. He achieved this feat in just 125 Test matches. Also, Gavaskar’s 34 centuries in Test cricket while maintaining an average of over 50 was a world record once.
While praising the former Indian captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq said that before Gavaskar, nobody could even think that scoring 10,000 runs in Test cricket is possible. However, the Indian legend set the trend for other batting greats to follow. Inzamam added that Gavaskar’s 10,000 runs if that era are equal to today’s 15,000 to 16,000 runs due to the change in pitch and playing environment.
Inzamam-ul-Haq had met Gavaskar at a charity event
The 50-year-old also recalled the tour of England in 1992 where he faced difficulties against short-pitched deliveries and had no idea how to counter them. After an amazing performance in the World Cup, the cricketer faced problems in the tour due to the change in conditions and pitch.
However, all his problems got resolved after he sought Gavaskar’s advice at a charity event. The veteran cricketer told him to just focus on the game and to not think let the bowlers get the better of him. Also, Gavaskar suggested him to make a change in his mental approach by removing the fear of short-balls from his mind.
“I went to England after the 1992 World Cup at the back of a tremendous performance in the mega event. It was my first-ever tour to England. I didn’t have any idea how I should play on those pitches. I was going through a bad patch as I was unable to play short-pitched deliveries,” Inzamam recalled in a video on his YouTube channel.
“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 I asked him ‘Sunil bhai I’m facing problems to play short-pitched balls, what should I do’?
As great are the ways of the great, he told me to do only one little thing, that is, ‘don’t think about short-pitched balls or bouncers while batting because the moment you’ll think about them 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 amassed 11739 and 8830 runs in 378 ODIs and 120 Test matches, respectively added.
The former Pakistan’s chief selector revealed that he could overcome his shortcomings by following the advice of Sunil Gavaskar. Though initially he found it difficult to strengthen his mind but practicing hard in nets made him the master of this art. Inzamam further said that he never faced any issues while facing short balls in his career until he retired from international cricket in 2008.