By our correspondent
KARACHI: Pakistan’s highly skilled left-handed batsman Shan Masood is set to make his international debut in T20 cricket against England. The 32-year old Test batsman on Saturday said that he will try to carry the best things of his recent T20 stints into international T20 cricket.
“Its desire of every cricketer to play for his country. The best thing is that this year I have played around 36 T20 games. If you have played so many matches and have scored runs, so keeping aside the pressure, I will try to carry the good things whether they were in the PSL or Vitality Blast into international cricket. I will also try to rectify my flaws and to play according to the team’s requirement,” Shan told a news conference here at the National Stadium.
Shan is natural opener but he may face a slot issue in Pakistan’s team as Babar Azam and Rizwan normally open in T20 cricket. And it is expected that he will be drafted at No3 and Shan says that he is ready for any slot and will play according to the requirement of the national team, which he says is being led by Pakistan’s best ever batsman.
“Sometimes due to high competitiveness you face issues in getting a place in the team. I always keep myself flexible. When I was skipper of Multan, I started playing at No3 which I had never done before. This year I brought myself down to No 4 in the national T20. In county one-day matches I also came down to No3. I will try to play according to the situation and requirement of the team,” Shan said. “I will always play according the team requirement and where I will not perform it will be my own mistake,” said the batsman.
Shan understands that England is one of the best sides of the world and will pose a tough challenge to the hosts.
“I think England is one of the best white-ball sides in the world and having played county cricket there this season, having looked at the standard of cricket I will not be surprised at all what England possess as a team. They get a lot of representation during the PSL and they always have been important players. We can look at players like Alex Hales, Moeen Ali and David Willey played for us this year in the PSL, so we know they are the best white-ball sides in the world and they will pose really good challenge for us,” Shan observed.
“So, it’s an exciting time to be Pakistani player. It’s probably the ideal preparation to play one of the best sides of the world before the T20 World Cup. I think I will be very glad if I will play the side like England,” Shan said.
Shan said that PSL and Vitality Blast in England played a great role in his transformation as a T20 player.
“I think it was a big stepping stone in terms of me making into the T20 side over there. The PSL was a big step up and performing on that level always gives you confidence and I played the Vitality Blast in England and getting some runs overs there and I think that was important to put my name out there,” Shan said. “It was brilliant that I played a lot of cricket in county cricket and I figured myself as a person and as a batter. I gave a lot of credit to Derbyshire and Micky Arthur for the time that they invested in me and kept playing around players that have played for England and international players that played the Vitality Blast as well. I think this one experience I will always regard when it comes to my development as a player,” Shan said.
“I played 15 T20s, eight four-day matches and eight one-day matches and I think as a cricketer you learn a lot by playing more matches and that’s how you rectify your mistakes and you make yourself a better player,” Shan said.
“And when you come across some decent players you learn from them. I witnessed one of the best T20 innings by Alex Hales over there as he scored 91 off 33 balls against us so as a T20 batsman that was a good innings I saw,” Shan said.
“I was very fortunate to play PSL for five years in a row and last year we had a good coach in Andy Flower for Multan. I developed my role quite well over there. I picked up things from the top players in my side,” Shan said.