Abid Ali wants to be next Mr Dependable for Pakistan batting

Lahore    –    Pakistan opening batsman Abid Ali is keen to become integral part of the national team through consistent performances after the World Cup heartache.

Abid was part of Pakistan’s initial squad announced for the World Cup but had to pave way for Asif Ali without getting any chance to play in England. The 31-year-old opener is now eyeing upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka in October to show his prowess and vowed to become a dependable member of the team in all three formats of the game.

The two-match Test series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, which is part of the inaugural ICC Test Championship, is likely to be held in Lahore and Karachi in October this year. “If selected, I will give my hundred percent,” said Abid during an interview with The Nation.

“I am currently trying to improve my fitness as well as batting technique. Selection is not under my control. If given chance against Sri Lanka, I will try to perform well and help the team register crucial victories,” he added.

When asked whether he thinks he is deprived of representing Pakistan during the World Cup, the 31-year-old opener said: “I went England with great confidence but unfortunately, I couldn’t get a chance to represent the country in the mega event. But it is a thing of past now and I am looking forward to perform in the upcoming series.

“Although our team couldn’t start the World Cup well as the West Indies defeat cost us dearly, yet the green caps made a strong comeback and succeeded in winning the next four matches but unfortunately we couldn’t qualify for the semifinals due to low run-rate,” he added.

The promising opener said that he is presently working hard on improving his fitness and fielding. “Fitness plays the key role in modern cricket, that’s why I have been working very hard on my fitness. All the coaches and trainers at NCA are very professional and cooperative and under their guidance, I have been improving a lot and keen to serve the national team in a much better way,” he said.

Abid, who made a debut hundred against Australia at UAE, said: “My debut against Australia was good but after that, there was some pressure, which I overcame later. Right now, I am eager to deliver and hopefully, people will see me performing well against Sri Lanka.”

About new domestic structure, the opening batsman said: “Hopefully, the new domestic cricket structure will help in improving quality of Pakistan cricket, making it more challenging and action-packed. I am a professional cricketers and my work is to perform. I am looking forward to keep my track record up in this domestic season as well.”

Abid said in modern cricket, England’s Ben Stokes and Australia’s David Warner are his favourite cricketers while Sachin Tendulkar and Mahela Jayawardene are his all-time favourites. “Both Sachin Tendulkar and Mahela Jayawardene are models for young cricketers. I always try to follow these legends and by following their style and techniques, one can improve a lot. It will be a great honour for me to meet these legends.”

About his first class career, Abid said that it was Islamabad Region head Shakil Sheikh, who helped him a lot in starting his first class career from Islamabad. “I believe in hard working, which always pays off and it was my hard work and passion, which made me an international cricketer. I will continue to work hard and try to further strengthen Pakistan team opening department with my consistent performances.”  To a query regarding outgoing chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, he said: “Inzamam bhai has done whatever he feels better for Pakistan cricket. He is a legendary cricketer and during his tenure as a chief selector, he remained focused to his work and played his role in a befitting manner.”

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