Shan Masood Eager To Do Well In Australia

Shan Masood eager to do well in Australia

The newly-appointed Pakistan test cricket captain, Shan Masood, has said that the team is excited to take up the challenge in unfamiliar conditions during the three tests rubber away in Australia

LAHORE, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 29th Nov, 2023) The newly-appointed Pakistan test cricket captain, Shan Masood, has said that the team is excited to take up the challenge in unfamiliar conditions during the three tests rubber away in Australia.

Addressing a pre-departure press conference at the PCB headquarters, Gaddafi Stadium here on Wednesday, he said "we see the Australian series as an opportunity and challenge and how it can help us rise in the World Test Championship". He expressed his intent to play good cricket for Pakistan and make fans happy.

On his lackluster performance as a test batter, Shan Masood attributed his below-par past performances to inconsistent selection criterion, adding that he had made up the deficiencies in his batting approach where he could not translate good starts into big scores. He said he had done well in England and Pakistan Cup recently and was confident to take his form forward in Australia. “I am in a good shape and, hopefully, will contribute good scores on the tour,” he added.

On Pakistan’s chances of turning the tables on Australia against whom the team had lost 14 test matches on the trot, he said the team did well in the 2019 tour and managed 300 plus runs in all four innings of the two test match series, adding that there was need to score 400 plus runs by the bating unit, especially in the first innings of a test match.

When asked, he said Babar Azam is the best batsman in the unit, adding that he is leader of the batting unit and whole batting strategy revolves around him. He further said Babar Azam will bat at No. 4 in the test as always. He also confirmed that Imam ul Haq and Abdullah Shafique will open the innings as they have enviable record over the past one year, while he himself will bat at No. 3 as he batted at the position during the domestic tournament.

On captaincy, Shan Masood said that he did not see captaincy as a threat to be made a scapegoat in case of failure but as an opportunity to relish and perform with responsibility. He said his stint as captain of Multan Sultans, Derbyshire and Yorkshire have contributed to his growth as a captain and "I will try to translate that experience in my responsibilities with the Pakistan team".

He said he was not awed by the presence of former captains Babar Azam and Sarfraz Ahmed in the team, adding that he would cherish their presence as big names bring good advice and make one's job easy. He said Babar, Sarfraz, Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi had performed in pressure situations and their experience would be an asset to his being on-the-field.

“Everyone in the team is leader and he should come forward and lead in his field," he said and added that the team would only grow when all would play as leaders and contribute for Pakistan.

He expressed his satisfaction with the squad selected for the Australia series, adding that he was completely on board in the selection matters. He said the recent team selection is a message for the domestic players that their performance would be recognised whenever an opportunity occurred, adding that selection of Khurram Shahzad and Mir Hamza was a testament to his statement.

On being asked, the captain said some wished were not be fulfilled, adding that he had wished, in the absence of injured Naseem Shah, to have the pace of Haris Rauf at his disposal, but it did not happen. He said English pacer Mark Wood did really good with his pace.

Shan admitted the fact that the Australia-bound squad lacked in the fast-bowling department due to the absence of Naseem Shah, adding that the batting line-up was ‘settled’ and was doing well for some time now. He said that the decision on playing Sarfraz Ahmed or Muhammad Rizwan or both of them would be made in the light of conditions, adding that Rizwan did well in the Australian conditions during the 2019 series and was the highest run-getter for Pakistan in the two-test rubber.

About criticism, Shan said he would welcome constructive criticism and try to improve through it, adding that he would accept responsibility for his acts. He said the team had prepared well by replicating Australian conditions in anticipation of the bouncy pitches, adding that the team had prepared well for the series.

On drop-in pitches in Pakistan, he said the idea was good to have drop-in pitches in Pakistan. However, he added, he was appreciative of the beauty of the game that every country played in its own conditions. He said the need was to expose the younger players to an opportunity to play in the Australian conditions and gain the first-hand knowledge of the conditions there and perform well when the series comes up.

Hailing Adam John Hollioake’s appointment as batting coach during the Australia series, he said different teams hire local coaches to get first-hand knowledge of the foreign conditions, and different teams in the past hired services of former Pakistani cricketers like Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmed to exploit local conditions in a better way. He said Adam had served as England captain and played cricket for Surrey besides winning nine county championships, and he also served as consultant of the English team during the last Ashes. He said Hollioake was currently coaching Queensland, adding that his appointment would serve the cause of the team in good stead.