The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kapil wants players to show aggression
- Injuries to young fast bowlers worry former captain

Calcutta: The high-profile trip to Pakistan, labelled a goodwill tour, is around the corner and Kapil Dev feels the players must forget niceties and be as combative as possible.

Urging Sourav Ganguly’s boys to show aggression, the former India captain and coach said: “People who require to be good will be good, while players need to win the series for themselves and the country.

“It’s a significant series for these boys. Because of the tremendous hype around it, they should give everything and win it for their country,” Kapil said on Tuesday morning, just before leaving for Eden Gardens with the players on the last day of the conditioning camp.

Kapil was invited to the camp to offer suggestions to the players and share with them his experience of playing in Pakistan. “I only want to inspire them and explain what I know. I am trying to prepare them psychologically.”

Asked about his suggestions to players on handling pressure, the fiery allrounder came up with a characteristically free-flowing reply. “There is no question of pressure. The players should go out to enjoy the moment and the game. They should bowl with their chin up. Everything else will then fall into place.

“There should be no time for anything else if one wants to concentrate on cricket. They have to work hard, expect good results and that is all that matters,” was Kapil’s opinion.

He seemed concerned over the fitness of the young fast bowlers and asked them to refrain from overworking. “I am concerned about their injuries. They should stay fit as that will be a big plus for them,” he said.

All Indian seamers in recent times have shown a tendency to frequently pick up injuries. Be it the now-retired Jawagal Srinath, or the younger ones like Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Ajit Agarkar. “These current players are in the twenties. They should take care of their food habits and lifestyle and not get carried away,” Kapil said.

“Twenty is a very dangerous age. At this age people feel they can conquer the world and climb the highest of mountains. In doing so, they overwork and hurt their bodies.”

Asked what could be in store for the players in Pakistan, Kapil said: “What I have tried to do is to make them aware of certain aspects. Nothing should surprise them, they are expected to play cricket there and should play it with all their passion and might.”

Kapil added that he had not recommended major technical corrections to the bowlers since the duration of the camp was short. “There is no chance of bringing about big changes in three days, I just wanted to give them confidence and prepare them for the series.”

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