ISLAMABAD - Pakistan cricket teams’ most gifted middle order batsmen Asad Shafiq said Monday he was working very hard to prove critics that he is capable of playing in any given format.

In an exclusive interview to The Nation on Monday, he said he was enjoying the role of batting as opener as Sarfraz and he had played lot of cricket together and he knows his game very well. “It was never a rocket science for me to open the innings as I had played as an opener in National one day cups previously and enjoyed my role.”

Asad said Quetta Gladiators were highly fortunate to have a blend of youth and experience the presence of Sarfraz, Kevin Petersen, Shane Watson, Rossouw and other international players is a great help.

“Batting with Watson, always gives you extra confidence as he had played for Australia and he is a very good partner to bat with. He is very supportive and always ready to help you. I have learnt a great deal from him. While KP as we all know is always there and is also huge boost for all the teammates as he is always talking telling and bucking all to give more than 100 percent. He is a super star but is very down to earth person and always smiling and ready to give words of wisdom.”

He said he has entered the Pakistan Super League third edition with rich form as he had performed in the recently concluded national one day cup and also in List A. “I have scored loads of runs both in departmental and regional one day cups. I can understand that I am not so far been able to live up to the reputation and play the way I was playing very recently. But one thing is sure, I am a quick learner and I know that it is only a matter of time before I start to produce what I am best known for. The PSL is only half way through and the tempo is building with each passing day. I am working very hard to cash each and every opportunity provided to me and respond to the trust and confidence shown in me by Quetta Gladiators team management, captain and Nadeem Omar.”

He hoped Gladiators would bounce back in the event and would replicate the success they achieved in previous two editions.

When this scribe asked Asad what does it means for not only him, Sarfraz and all other players, especially those who belong to Karachi playing the final at National Stadium in front of home crowd, Asad said it would be perfect to play in the final. “As all know, we belong to Karachi and the people anxiously waiting for us to play in the final. I am more concerned about Gladiators reaching the final and winning this time convincingly.

I don’t care against whom we had to play. Sarfraz is a very supportive and highly sensible and quick learner. He knows his mistakes and is the best man to take Gladiators out of present situation and entire team is united right behind Sarfraz and very soon our results will speak,” Asad concluded.