The 1992 ODI World Cup saw the birth of a promising international career in Inzamam-ul-Haq, who went on to become a legend of the game.
However, shortly after a successful multilateral event, Inzamam was scheduled to travel to England for the first time in his career.
The pitches in England are renowned for being a challenging affair for even established batsmen, let alone novices.
Much like all Asian batsmen, Inzy also had issues coping with the conditions in England and suffered a lean patch.
“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 as to how should I play on those pitches. I was going through a bad patch as I was unable to play short-pitched deliveries,’’ Inzamam recalled on his YouTube channel.
Fortunately, Inzamam had the opportunity to have a chat with Indian batting maestro Sunil Gavaskar who dispensed an apt piece of advice, regarding facing short-pitched deliveries.
“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’?” Inzy added.
“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.”
As it turned out, Sunny’s advice was as good as gold for young Inzaman and went on to become one of the best players of short-pitched bowling.
“While in nets, I started practicing the way he told me. I strengthened my mind, telling myself not to think about that [short-pitched balls]. The weakness was removed. And from 1992 till the time I retired, I never faced that problem again,” Inzamam continued.
On Friday, the ‘Little Master’ celebrated his 71st birthday. The former PCB chairman of selectors concluded by wishing he could’ve watched Sunil bat live.