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Help Kamran Akmal ready to play as specialist batsman
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Kamran Akmal, the Pakistan wicketkeeper, has said he has ironed out technical flaws in his glovework and is determined to make a comeback behind the stumps, but is ready to play even as a specialist batsman if required. Kamran made several wicket-keeping errors on Pakistan's tour of England in August and was dropped for the second Test against the hosts. He played the last two Tests and the one-dayers but was left out of the squad for the series against South Africa.

"I've addressed some of the basics, especially those things that went wrong for me in England," Kamran told PakPassion.net. "I've watched a lot of the videos and we've analysed some of the errors. I've been working hard with the National Bank coaches and have received sound advice from ex-cricketers like Ijaz Ahmed and Waqar Younis [the national coach]."

Kamran, who was replaced by Zulqarnain Haider for the ODIs and younger brother Adnan Akmal for the Tests against South Africa, has scored 530 runs at an average of 75.71 for National Bank in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy this season, including his maiden first-class double-century against Fasialabad. Pakistan's selection committee are due to meet soon to choose the squads for the tour of New Zealand, which starts with the first of three Twenty20 internationals on December 23, as well as the preliminary 30-man squad for the World Cup, and Kamran is hopeful that his domestic performances will earn him a recall.

"When I wasn't chosen for the series versus South Africa, I decided that I would look to regain my form and confidence in domestic cricket," he said. "I've managed to score plenty of runs and I have been happy with my form behind the stumps.

"My dropping was up to the PCB and the selectors, and was out of my control. They choose who they think deserves a chance and I have no problem with that. I am more determined than ever to reclaim my place in the Pakistan side and I am comfortable if the selectors and management want me to play as a keeper or purely as a batsman."

Kamran underwent a minor appendix operation before the UAE tour but was fit when Adnan was picked for the Tests following Haider's controversial exit from the side. There was some speculation that his exclusion from the squad may have been linked to the spot-fixing scandal. He was sent a notice by the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit (ACSU) after the Nottingham Test seeking information about events related to the 2010 World Twenty20 held in the Caribbean in May. Kamran was subsequently cleared for Pakistan selection after he sent an enquiry to the ICC asking if he was under investigation.

Akmal admitted it had been a hard few months for him but said he has the mental strength to bounce back. "Being dropped is not an easy thing to take," he said, "but I took it on the chin and decided that I would use my dropping from the team as a motivational tool. At this level, it's the mental side of the game that quite often causes mistakes or a loss of form. I needed to be mentally tougher and I've worked on that."
ESPN EMEA Ltd.

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