Whatever has appeared in the press about my decision to continue playing is a figment of some reportersí imagination. Leave alone speaking to the press, I have not stepped out of my house since Iíve got back. My future is what Iím thinking about, but I am yet to arrive at any decision one way or another.
My wife Huma says I will have to take the call while my father is in favour of me quitting. I would like to take some more time before making this extremely life-altering decision.
|VAAS: Good to see him coming out of Muralidharanís shadow
Also, I would like to quash rumours that I am gunning for captaincy. Captaining Pakistan is not an easy job, and nobody knows that better than I do.
Richard Pybus will make way for a new coach, but he did a great job for Pakistan. He always did his homework well and tried his level best to rev up the players when the going got tough. I donít blame him for feeling frustrated that the results did not match his input.
Also, we were not the easiest bunch to train. As professionals who are paid to play, we should always be happy to train and reach the nets on time. But Pybus would have to literally wake up some of the boys and force them to practise. I think he needs a break from Pakistan cricket after this World Cup.
The youngsters in the Pakistan team are a shy lot. It may have something to do with their inability to speak English well, but they never go out of their way to speak to seniors in other teams. When I was a youngster, I used to ask Kapil Dev, Malcolm Marshall and Sir Richard Hadlee for tips all the time. Seniors in every team are only too eager to pass on what they have learnt. We must inculcate this curiosity, and the confidence to speak to outsiders in the Pakistan youngsters. Otherwise, their vision will be blinkered, and they will not grow with exposure like young players in other teams.
The World Cup continues to go in full steam back in South Africa. I will watch the India-Sri Lanka game with interest, as there will be three members of the left-arm pace bowlersí club on view. Chaminda Vaas has emerged as a top one-day bowler who has enjoyed the conditions in South Africa so far. He has been under the shadow of Muthiah Muralidharan for long, and itís nice to see him finally get some credit for what he is doing.
The Indian left-arm bowlers are the ones who will shine in the future for India. Both have a lot of potential, and are hard-working, willing learners. Zaheer has been impressive right through the tournament, and he goes about his bowling with plenty of thought. I have seen that he runs in slower and focuses on getting his line and length right in his first over.
Itís only after that he comes in and bowls as fast as he can.
Ashish Nehra would do well to follow the same method. Nehra is inaccurate sometimes because he starts attacking from the first ball, even before he gets his line right. I would advise him to spend the first over focusing on accuracy, and then start running in quickly to get that extra pace.
Pakistan has a young exciting bowler called Faisal Afridi who is fast and accurate. He also can score some runs lower down the order, and must be groomed from now on to match Zaheer and Nehra in the future.
India need to restrict Sri Lanka in the first 15 overs, because if they start well they can go after or set any total. Sanath Jayasuriya is a doubtful starter on Monday, and that will be a big bonus for India. Anyway, India are on a high after their victory over Pakistan, and look like a side that believes in itself. It promises to be a tight game, but India have the upper hand.