LAHORE         -     Pakistan young fast bowler Haris Rauf has said that he is eager and mentally prepared to play Tests in England.

Rauf said this while talking to sports journalists during an online videoconference here on Thursday. “I have made up my mind that I want to play Tests in England. I will try my best whether I get the first, second or third Test. I will give my 100 percent whenever the team needs me and I am mentally ready and excited, I want to play Tests and I will do my best in the nets and practice matches, so that I can also get a chance in the Test team.”

Speaking his fitness, the youngster said: “Fitness is very important for a fast bowler. In the past 2 months or so, I have worked a lot on my fitness as we couldn’t work on skills. When you are fit then you maintain your pace as well. I think we all have worked hard on our fitness during the lockdown period.”

When Rauf started his career, he got the fame as a bowler, capable of bowling the fastest deliveries. When asked about it, he replied: “I always try to maintain my pace in the 144-145 kph mark. So my training is mainly focused on being consistent with it rather than thinking about bowling my fastest delivery. With a smooth rhythm, any day it can go beyond that as well. This England tour is the best chance for me to further prove myself and do my best for the team there.”

Replying to a query about aggression, the pacer said: “I have aggression as a fast bowler, which is necessary. In the BBL, I did something that I felt was wrong while doing it and I apologized after that and did adaab in the next match. I try to make sure that I don’t do any celebration that results in scrutiny.

“The incident with Haider Ali was a spur of the moment thing in the ground. We don’t have any problems with each other. It just happened in the moment due to the match. That was just aggression and I try to keep it within limits. I don’t want to hurt anyone and I will try to make sure to stay within the limits,” he added.

Rauf was discovered by Lahore Qalandars head coach Aqib Javed at a fast bowling trial in Gujranwala. But now, he is being trained by Pakistan’s bowling coach Waqar Younis and he has been enjoying the step up. “Aqib Bhai had skills and he shared and guided me all the way. But then you move on to the next level and find new coaches and they share their experiences and help accordingly.

“Since Waqar bhai has come, I have been learning how to use the crease as he did. He also knows a lot about bowling reverse swing with control. During the Bangladesh series, we worked a lot on yorkers and controlling reverse and I hadn’t even focused on that before so that was something new for me. I was happy to be learning something new,” he added.

“Conditions in England are favourable for fast bowlers and I will try to make full use of them. I have belief in my skills and will try not to get overconfident. We have senior players in the squad and I will try to learn from them. As I bowl longer spells, I will gain confidence and keep learning,” Rauf concluded.