Shadab looks to cement place in Test team

Updated August 24, 2019

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“It has been a pleasure for the Pakistan cricketers to play before our home crowd,” says the young all-rounder. — Twitter/File
“It has been a pleasure for the Pakistan cricketers to play before our home crowd,” says the young all-rounder. — Twitter/File

LAHORE: Young Pakistan all-rounder Shadab Khan on Friday said though he eagerly waits to play Test cricket on home soil, it is also a pleasure that at least shorter-version international cricket has returned to the country.

Talking to reporters after joining the pre-season training camp here at the NCA under the coaching of former captain Misbah-ul-Haq, Shadab said though Sri Lanka would not be featuring in Test matches — to be staged in the UAE in December — in Pakistan but they would compete in shorter-version matches which he termed a good news.

“It has been all pleasure for the Pakistan cricketers to play before our home crowd,” the leg-spinner said. “Though the news [of Sri Lanka not playing the Test matches] is a bit disappointing, it is good that at least shorter-version international matches are being held in Pakistan.”

Answering a question, the 20-year-old Shadab said he was trying to become a useful weapon of Pakistan’s Test team.

“I have played a good number of white-ball matches and just five Tests. Therefore, I need to bring improvement in my bowling and batting to cement my place in Test cricket too, as a useful all-rounder,” said Shadab who since coming to international cricket in 2017 has played 41 ODIs and 32 Twenty20s but has been able to claim only 12 wickets at a higher average of 38.83 in five Tests.

Shadab, who represented Pakistan at this year’s ICC World Cup in England and Wales after quickly recovering from a virus-related disease he suffered just few weeks before the mega event, said he had again gone through some essential medical tests, the results of which showed nothing wrong.

Shadab admitted that his performance had gradually decline after the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, which Pakistan won after beating India in the final, but added that he was trying to reinvent himself by improving his skills which he said “is essential to stay in international cricket”.

Under Misbah’s coaching, Shadab said, he would learn more cricket as the ex-skipper had a vast experience of both international and domestic cricket.

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2019