By our correspondent
KARACHI: Off-spinner Sajid Khan shot to fame in international circuit when he got 12 wickets in his last Test against Bangladesh in Mirpur in December 2021 to enable Pakistan demolish the hosts by an innings and eight runs in their second Test to seal the series 2-0.
The 28-year old, having played four Tests, two against Zimbabwe and two against Bangladesh, seems to be a productive bowler. However this time he will have to bowl against tough Australians, who handle spin very well.
Sajid aims to stick to his ‘strength’ and deliver against Australia which is due to arrive in Pakistan on February 27 for three Tests, three ODIs and one T20I.
“If we focus on other things then we will forget our own things also. Whatever is my strength, like to deceive the batsmen with a flighted delivery, arm ball and turn, I will stick to them,” Sajid said during a media talk here at National Stadium.
“If we see Australian spinners they have their own skills. Saqlain bhai has told me in the start one thing that whatever my strength is, I should focus on that. And whatever I have been doing and the way I have performed both at the domestic and international level, so InshaAllah you will see more good things against Australia,” Sajid said.
Sajid has grabbed 18 wickets in his four Tests which he has played during his brief Test career.
Sajid said that they will try their level best to play good cricket against Australia in the Test series which is part of the World Test Championship.
“It will be an honour for me if I perform for Pakistan. If I perform for myself, I think it will not be appropriate. If I play for Pakistan, I will perform for Pakistan. This year we will try to play the World Test Championship final. We will try our level best to play good cricket and go for the win,” Sajid said.
Sajid said he is learning from head coach Saqlain Mushtaq, who himself was a great off-spinner of his age, and seasoned spinners in the squad.
“The way I performed against Bangladesh it instilled a lot of confidence in me. Saqlain bhai regularly invites us to his room for meetings and guides us. When we are on the pitch during training, Saqlain after every four or five overs comes to us and guides us. We are learning from him. I am also learning from the experienced bowlers Nauman Ali and Yasir Shah and inshaAllah will deliver against Australia,” Sajid hoped.
“Yes, for a long time Pakistan was missing off-spinners. I have been playing professional cricket for the last six to seven years. I have played right from school level and have reached this level. I have gained a lot of experience. Nathan Lyon, Australian off-spinner, is a world-class spinner. He has taken more than 400 wickets. I am also trying to serve Pakistan for a long time and deliver performances,” Sajid said.
Sajid said they will try to win the series against Australia.
“There is no doubt about it that Australia is No1 Test side but we will try to win this series and become World No1. The way Australia is doing workout so we are also doing the same. We train in three to four sessions of fielding, batting and bowling. We are preparing well and you will see good things during the series,” spinner from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said.
Sajid said that the home side will get advantage.
“Home side always has a slight advantage. Yes, spinners will get the support. We have Nauman Ali, Yasir Shah (in reserves), Zahid Mahmood and myself, so whoever will get an opportunity, will deliver,” Sajid said.
Sajid said his plans will be for all batsmen, adding he will not target any one individual.
“Australia has a good side including Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head and Alex Carey. I will not target any one but we will have to bowl out their entire team. Whether I will make them out or fast bowlers or spinners will do this. Our main aim will be to do our best for the country,” Sajid said.
Earlier commenting on the training camp being held here at the National Stadium, Sajid said they are working harder to prepare for the series which will begin with the first Test in Rawalpindi from March 4.
“Two weeks ago a camp had been held at the NCA Lahore. After passing through the fitness test we took a rest for three or four days and now camp is in progress here,” Sajid said.
“It’s a good environment. Yesterday we played a scenario-based match and the wicket was very good. We remained on the pitch for 90 overs. We are doing our best. We will try our level best to beat Australia and are working harder for that,” Sajid said.
There was a rest day in the camp on Sunday.