KARACHI: Vice-captain of Pakistan's white-ball cricket team Shadab Khan believes that the England series would provide Pakistan with a valuable opportunity for making preparations to head to the ICC T20 World Cup.
The ICC's Men Twenty20 World Cup will take place in Australia next month.
In an exclusive interview with Geo News ahead of the first T20I against England, Shadab said that he is practising to prepare himself for bowling in powerplay and death overs so that he can be used as a bowling option by the team at any stage of the game.
Shadab also said that he is willing to bat further up in the order if required by the team.
“It is, of course, a very historic series and also a worthwhile opportunity for us to prepare for the world cup. England is one of the most successful teams in limited over cricket that plays modern day cricket. So, it will help us to prepare for the world cup and will allow us to form a proper combination ahead of the mega-event," he said.
When asked what areas the team needs to improve, Shadab said that there’s always room for improvement in all areas. However, he highlighted that the team needs to work hard on batting as he anticipates high-scoring matches in Australia during the World T20 tournament.
Speaking about his own cricket, Shadab said that being an all-rounder, he is prepared to step in for the team whenever and wherever required.
Shadab added, "For me and Nawaz, the combination we have in the team plays a very critical role. He or I can be sent at any position, so we have to prepare, although I pray that we don't face a situation where I have to bat earlier in the order."
Shadab said that he is not targeting any individual batter from the England side but he is aiming to work on improving his bowling variations during the upcoming series.
“I’ve been working on something from the Asia Cup and I will continue working on it so that it can be helpful for me in Australia,” said the national team’s all-rounder.
“It is about my bowling variations, which I realized during T20 blast, especially when I was bowling with a new ball in the powerplay. I am working on it so that I can prepare myself in a better way to be able to bowl at any stage of the game, be it powerplay overs or death overs,” he said.
Responding to a question, Shadab said that players from both teams know each other well and he anticipates a very healthy competition in the series against England.
He also highlighted the benefits of playing franchise leagues around the world. He said it has taught players not only about the conditions worldwide but also has helped boys, especially from this side of the world, to learn about various cultures.
"It is very significant and beneficial, especially for young people who come from humble backgrounds when they go abroad, they get to see a completely different world, a different culture, and conditions which they're not familiar with, and they learn everything, on and off the field, by being in different conditions and playing alongside various top players from around the world," says Shadab.
“Just as England players know Pakistan’s condition by playing in the PSL, we are also getting aware of the conditions in different countries” he concluded.
Pakistan and England are scheduled to play the opener of the seven-match Twenty20 International series today in Karachi.
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