Faiz Fazal's father reveals how his son became a 'complete batsman'
Speaking to Times of India, Faiz’s father Yakub reminisced on the transformation from being a talented stroke-player into an all-round batsman. One of the things which helped immensely was a renewed focus on fitness.
Yakub enthused, “He desperately needed that 'India' tag. Faiz has always aimed high. He was keeping himself motivated even when he wasn't getting enough chances. He just started playing without expectations. He wanted to take Vidarbha cricket forward and that was one of his primary goals when he came back from Railways.”
Getting the attention of the selectors with a remarkable fourth-innings ton to guide Rest of India to a historic chase against Mumbai in the Irani Trophy, Faiz was a surprise pick for India’s limited-overs trip to Zimbabwe.
However, the 30-year old repaid the selection committee’s faith with a classy knock. Looking back at the hard work put in by his lad, Yakub revealed, "When he started playing cricket, he was predominantly an off-side player. He would struggle when you bowl on his legs. He also had problem against short deliveries.”
He added, “We worked very hard on improving his all-round game. I would bowl to him for hours in the nets. Sometimes, I used to get tired. I must say, Faiz's first coach Mangesh Pandit also played a very important role in his career. When he started playing BCCI matches, he could play all the shots. He is a complete batsman now."
Lauding his son’s dedication towards keeping himself physically and mentally fit, Yakub noted, "He has always been very fit. But for the last two-three years, Faiz has been concentrating more on his fitness and what he eats. Earlier, he would eat what he wanted. However, it's different these days. He knows more about his batting now. He has cut down on risky shots and is willing to respect good spells.”
Faiz could get a few more opportunities to showcase his talent with India scheduled to play a 3-match T20I series against the hosts in Harare, beginning on Saturday.