Pakistan's Hasan Ali credits senior players and coaching staff for fruitful debut tour
Hasan Ali, who was one of the few bright spots for Pakistan in their recent ODI series outing against England, picking up eight wickets from four matches, expressed his delight at the way his international career has started out and thanked his senior teammates and the coaching staff for helping him settling down in the highest level of the game.
Though the visitors were completely outplayed 4-1 by England, Pakistan were able to blood the promising young fast bowler who had impressed earlier for the Pakistan A team. In fact, Hasan revealed that the prior experience of playing in England was very helpful in helping him achieve a fantastic start to his international career.
“As a player starting off my international career, it was an excellent opportunity to learn from the best guys in the game and I was extremely pleased because I was given a lot of confidence and advice by all our senior players,” Hasan said.
“I would like to thank Azhar Ali and Sarfraz Ahmed for encouraging me throughout the series, in fact, all of the seniors went out of their way to make me feel at home which was really nice.
“What helped me was the earlier tour with Pakistan A where I did well and also got to know the wickets to some degree. Obviously, the A tour, where I picked up twenty wickets in eight games, did wonders for my confidence and I am sure it reflected in how I bowled later on behalf of the senior team.”
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The 22-year-old also had words of high praise for the entire Pakistan coaching staff singling out head coach Mickey Arthur and bowling coach for the England tour, Azhar Mahmood, for their valuable inputs in helping him improve as a bowler.
“There was some pressure put on me by the England players as they knew I was new to international games but I was expecting that and did not waver and bowled to the best of my abilities. I do thank the Almighty for His help in letting me perform well in these games,” he said.
“I really enjoyed working with Mickey Arthur. He is an excellent coach who gave all of us clear and concise plans to work with. There were no problems with communication as I do speak and understand enough English to be clear about what was needed from me. In any case, Mickey made sure that we all clearly understood what he was saying,” he added.
Hasan keen to improve his range
Azhar Mahmood, who has plenty of experience playing in England, proved an invaluable asset for Hassan, who expressed hope that he would continue receiving inputs from the former Pakistan all-rounder.
“Azhar Mahmood gave me some very important advice for use during the series and I do hope to work with him on an ongoing basis as his help to improve my bowling was invaluable,” he said. “
“I know people may think that there isn’t enough time during the series to make changes to one’s bowling technique but that is not correct. We have enough time between games during practice to learn and this is where Azhar was great as he would stand next to me when I was bowling to observe and then demonstrate himself what he wanted me to do which was very helpful and made a big difference for me.”
A facet of his bowling that Hasan is keen to improve upon is his pace and the use of slower balls during the latter overs of the innings. The youngster is fully aware of the challenges a bowler faces in the modern day game and is keen to improve his range so as to avoid any predictability in his bowling.
“I am pretty confident about bowling three or four different types of slow deliveries for which I am very grateful to my coaches. One has to realise that today’s game whether it’s the 50-over, Twenty20 formats or even Test matches are all played in a different manner to what it was like in the 1980’s or 90’s.
“On top of that, we have new regulations about field restrictions so it is now a necessity for a bowler to have these types of deliveries up his sleeve to be able to be effective,” he said.
“Obviously playing at the international level has highlighted some areas of improvement for my bowling. This is something which I am working on and I am hoping for my speed to improve as time goes on.
“The coaching staff are excellent and they are giving me special training to improve on this aspect and I am expecting to increase my pace further in the near future. In this respect, I have been given a special diet and training plan which I will follow and we should see an increase in my pace,” he added.