The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mental toughness Imran's theme
- Icon interacts with India-bound squad

Calcutta: Not being overwhelmed by pressure and mental toughness was the theme of Imran Khan's hour-long pep talk, late Sunday evening, to the India-bound Pakistan squad at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

Led by Inzamam-ul Haq, Pakistan arrive on Monday afternoon for a seven-week trip featuring three Tests and six ODIs.

'I spoke generally, detailing my own experience of India tours' Almost half-an-hour, though, was devoted to being tough in the mind and overcoming pressure,' Imran told The Telegraph, minutes after ending his talk.

The 1992 World Cup-winning captain, now a Member of the National Assembly (from family backyard Mianwali) added: 'I chose to highlight the pressure-bit because there's going to be lots in India' I also said a few things about what conditions to expect.'

Imran, who was invited by the team management, accepted that much of the battle will be won/lost in the mind.

Incidentally, Imran had a one-on-one with Inzamam before spending those 60 minutes with the squad. 'Let that interaction remain between us,' he remarked.

Imran, however, informed there was a brief Q&A session after he finished speaking: 'Younis Khan, (Shahid) Afridi, Arshad Khan' They had some queries and I believe I was able to satisfy them.'

For the record, Imran has acknowledged it's going to be tough for Pakistan to beat India. Of course, he is hopeful Inzamam and Co. will 'fight it out' in each session.

It was under Imran's captaincy, in 1986-87, that Pakistan created history by winning a Test series in India.

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