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Mushtaq Ahmed urges Pakistan to improve fitness

Mushtaq Ahmed urges Pakistan to improve fitness
Pakistan will be desperately hoping to improve their fielding standards.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Pakistan bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed has urged his players to improve their fitness levels and fielding skills to become a better team ahead of the 2016 World Twenty20.

After an impressive 2-0 victory in the Test series against England, Pakistan succumbed to losses in the One-Day International and T20 International contests.

Prior to the start of the T20I series against England, Pakistan were placed second in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings in the shortest format.

However, after two successive losses, they have now dropped to the fourth position with 116 points while England are placed sixth with 114 points.

Ahmed believes that the onus is on the team management to take the responsibility to improve the fitness levels of the Pakistan cricketers.

"Modern cricket and its protocols have changed.

“We were sitting at number two in Twenty20 because we have skilled players.

"But maybe we are lacking in fitness and fielding and if you analyse that then it's a fitness game.
"The team management has to take responsibility.

“You have to face the reality that you have to raise your game and as coach we have to lift the performance.

"If a player is not fit but is skilful then, in today's game, you need fitness more and if after taking double runs twice and you can't hit a boundary off a bad ball then it's a problem." 

The 45-year-old former leg-spinner also urged that the process of improving the fielding skills of the players must be started at the domestic level.

"I think we try to teach them and give them full information but it goes down to the system, it's a matter of our system which needs to be looked at.

"If someone gets to know in international cricket in which hand one should hold the bat and that you don't have to look at the ball but at your partner when you take a run, then it's quite worrying." 

Pakistan will have to win the third T20I in Sharjah on Monday if they are to retain their fourth position in the ICC rankings and failing to do so will result in a drop to the sixth position. 

© Cricket World 2015