KARACHI: Emphasising that a string of impressive outings with the bat in the recently concluded series in Sri Lanka has boosted his confidence level, promising Pakistan Test batsman Asad Shafiq says that giving match-winning performances for the country in the long run remains his ambition.
“The century in the final Test [in Pallekele], the second of my career, under testing circumstances has enhanced my self-belief and this confidence should help me in doing well in the coming matches,” Asad said while talking to Dawn on Monday.
“My batting performance in Sri Lanka has made me more aware of my role besides giving me a clearer idea as to what I could achieve in the future. While seeking to learn further from mistakes I look forward to improvement for future contests,” the soft-spoken 26-year-old added.
The right-handed middle-order batsman, when asked to comment specifically on his man-of-the-match feat in the final Test, attributed the second-innings century to the first-innings knock of 75.
“The first-innings effort lifted my spirits and it really helped me reach the three-figure mark in the second innings,” Asad, who has played 16 Tests so far, remarked.
The player, who amassed 257 runs at a healthy-looking 64.25 in the recent Sri Lanka Test series, was absolutely satisfied when his view was sought on his number six batting position. “The decision regarding batting position is the prerogative of the team management, and moreover I am also totally comfortable with my batting spot.”
When reminded that he averages an impressive 42.57 in Tests but not-so-attractive 29.92 in 32 One-day Internationals, Asad acknowledged he required to make ground in ODIs, adding he was working hard on it.
Asad, who made his Test debut against South Africa in November 2010 at Abu Dhabi, asserted that he always believed in playing according to the demand of the conditions. “I always seek to adjust according to the distinct requirements of Tests, ODIs and Twenty20s and try to give my best in all of them.”
Asad commended Azhar Ali, another richly-talented young batsman in Pakistan line-up who has already made his mark in Test cricket with some high class innings. “Azhar has been phenomenal with the bat, and played magnificently in Sri Lanka. I have good understanding with him and it certainly helps both of us in building partnerships in the middle order.”
Asad reckoned that credit for his emergence as one of Pakistan’s prominent young cricketers could not be given to any one individual. “Captain, coach, senior players and my relatives, all encouraged and helped me reach this stage.”
Insisting physical fitness was crucial to extending his international career, Asad said he was anticipating a tough limited-overs series against Australia in the UAE.
“Considering it will be the last competition for us before the World Twenty20, the Australia series is very important for us,” he said.