LAHORE-Pakistan leg spinner Yasir Shah is keen to give all-round performance against England, where he wants to bowl googlies and also eager to hit a Test century.

Yasir said this during a video conference from Worcester, where Pakistan cricket squad is preparing for the Test series. When asked whether he is planning for a hundred against England, he replied: “Yes, I am planning for a hundred against England. When you play for the team, you need to plan for such things. When the team needs you, you need to step up. So I do have a plan for hitting a century. If I can hit a hundred at Adelaide I can do it here as well.”

The leg spinner said that he has added to his repertoire a new and improved googly, which he will be unleashing on the English batsmen in the upcoming Test series. He was a bit off-colour in the 2019-20 season, where he picked up just 10 wickets over four matches split between Australian and Pakistani pitches. Now working under spin great Mushtaq Ahmed, Yasir said he has made his wrong’un much more potent.

“Since Mushtaq Bhai is here with me, I am working on my action and also especially on my googly. I am getting overspin and the googly is also progressing well so I am feeling good. In the two-day match, all the googlies I bowled landed well and they also spun. I think this time, this (googly) will be my most important weapon,” he said.

Yasir, who has played 39 Tests for Pakistan, admitted that his production has not been up to the mark recently but said that his performance in the last Test against Bangladesh gave him confidence. “I am focusing on my cricket and eager to give the best for my team. In the last year or so, I struggled a lot due to injury and it was very tough for me to make a strong comeback, but now I am getting back to my rhythm and preparing well for the Test series.”

Replying to a query, the premier spinner said: “I am not under pressure. If you take 215 wickets after 40 Tests and still come under pressure, that’s not good. When you play with three fast bowlers, they get tired so you have to bowl a lot to give them time to recover and this is part of being a team player. The best performances come when you have a good partnership with other bowlers, so we try to develop good partnerships by supporting each other.”

It is true that England series isn’t always good for spinners but Yasir says that spin will play a key role in his side’s upcoming Test in August. “The tracks in England during July and August tend to assist spinners. The counties usually sign spinners for July to September because in these three months, spinners get help on dry wickets so I am hopeful that the wickets will assist the spinners.”

Terming the bio-secure environment a new challenge for the players, Yasir admitted that it was a much-needed step due to the ongoing pandemic situation. “The bio-secure environment is a different feeling and I am trying to focus extensively on my preparations. It will definitely be tough to play without crowd support and we will surely miss them. But it’s not new for us, as we have already have played most of our cricket in away grounds and also played some PSL matches in front of empty stands.”

When asked how much the England-Windies series would be helpful for Pakistan team, Yasir replied: “It’s good that West Indies are playing before us. We will get to see the wickets and see England’s weaknesses. We will watch their Test matches and see how things happen and that will be very helpful for us.”

The ICC has banned the use of saliva for the bowlers. On this, the leg spinner said: “Shining the ball will be difficult because you can’t use saliva. Although you also sweat less in England, yet we will try to use that to shine it. It may be difficult for the fast bowlers but for spinners, it’s good that it’s the Dukes ball, the seam of which is a bit bigger so it grips and there won’t be any issue for spinners.”