LAHORE           -       Pakistan opening batsman Abid Ali has said that although it is his first tour with Test team yet he is keen to give out his best against England.

Abid, who has a world record of making centuries in his Test and ODI debuts, said this during an online session with sports journalists here on Tuesday. “I always try to give out my best in every match and I am keen to continue performing well against England as well. For this, I have to work very hard in the nets and also perform well in the practice matches.

“It will be an honour for me to practice under highly qualified and professional batting coach Younis Khan, who had excellent batting records in England as well as other parts of the world. We, the batsmen, are very eager to eager learn from the wide experience of Younis Khan, who hopefully will give us useful tips how to perform well against the hosts,” said the 32-year-old right-hand batsman.

About his future plans and goals, he said: “I usually believe in making short-term plans and then work very hard to achieve them. I will discuss my plans with the batting coach Younis Khan as well as head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and then try to implement them accordingly. I am confident that with their proper guidance and counseling, I will succeed in giving out my best against the English team,” he added.

Abid, who has represented the country in 3 Tests and four ODIs, said: “Coronavirus pandemic compelled us to stay at home and avoid any kind of cricketing activity. Now to cover this gap of almost six months, we have to be mentally very strong and prepare us well for the England series. We have to practise very hard during the nets and practice matches, which will give us confidence to give tough time to the hosts.”

The opening batsman said that the England-West Indies series would help the national team in learning how to tackle the English side. “We will watch both the sides playing and then try to work on the strengths and weaknesses of England team. Then under the able guidance of our highly professional coaching staff, we will prepare the game plan and try to follow it fully to win the series.

“English conditions are always difficult for batsmen. We are going to England well before the series, which will benefit us a lot. It is true that the hosts always get benefit of the home series but we will also practice well and try to adjust to the English conditions well so that we may perform exceptionally and try to win the Test series,” he added.

When asked about his feelings while playing behind the closed doors, Abid said: “Pakistan cricket team has played cricket for almost 10 years without crowd, so it’s not a new experience for us. England team will surely miss the crowd, but for us, it won’t matter a lot as we are used to playing our home series at neutral venues.”

Referring to the PCB’s initiative of online lectures of the former greats for the upcoming as well as national team players, Abid said that those lectures helped them a lot in many ways. “The former greats, including Javed Miandad, Mohammad Yousaf, Younis Khan, Rashid Latif and Moin Khan, gave us useful tips how to improve our batting skills and technique and also guided us well regarding handling the pressure situations, as the batsmen, who learn this art, mostly succeed in scoring big runs and contribute well in their team’s triumph. I am grateful to the PCB as well as former greats for such a fruitful activity, which will surely help us do well in England.”