DHABI : Pakistan wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal says
that he gained immense confidence from the recent tour
of India, especially after his defiant century in the
first Test in Mohali that he terms his "best ever".
"I learnt to handle pressure (on the
Indian tour). Playing in front of such big crowds,
against such a formidable team is never easy," Akmal
"I played under lot of pressure in the
Mohali Test and it gave me a lot of confidence and I
learnt how to play under pressure," said the
23-year-old, whose showing earned him a place in
Pakistan's upcoming tour of the West Indies.
With Pakistan battling to save the first Test on the
fifth day of the first Test at Mohali, Akmal batted for
four hours for a defiant 109 that effectively denied
India a win. He was also involved in a record,
match-saving 184-run stand for the seventh wicket with
Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer later described the Mohali
fightback as a "watershed in the future development" of
"It was my life's best innings - because I had not
performed well against Australia and (earlier) against
Sri Lanka," Akmal said during the just ended
three-nation Zayed Cup.
"Even when India toured Pakistan last year I had not
performed well. I got an opportunity on the India tour
and Allah helped me grab that," said the young man from
A selfless player, Akmal gave full credit to Razzaq for
guiding him at the crease during that partnership.
"Razzaq helped me a lot. He himself played very well. I
don't think I would have played that knock had he got
Pakistan, however, lost the second Test at Kolkata,
before staging a remarkable rally to win the third and
final match at Bangalore to draw the series 1-1.
"People were underestimating the Pakistan team. But
cricket is a funny game; anything is possible. That Test
saved Pakistan cricket, thanks to Allah, otherwise who
knows what feelings Pakistanis would have had," said
Akmal, referring to the possibility of a volatile
reaction back home had Pakistan lost.
After that (the first Test), day after day we played
better cricket. Our bad luck that we played one session
poorly (at Kolkata and lost)," he recalled.
"In the next Test at Bangalore, we played with the same
planning and approach, and I especially laud captain
Inzi (Inzamam-ul-Haq) for encouraging all the boys. Any
team, not just us, would have played better with such
Akmal pointed out that it was not the first time that he
had batted in adverse circumstances.
"In first-class cricket, I have scored four centuries,
virtually five as I have remained unbeaten on 99 once.
All five centuries have come in similar situations, for
Lahore and the National Bank," he said.