"Shadab Khan is up there as one of the best captains" - Colin Munro on his Islamabad United skipper [Exclusive]

Colin Munro in action for Islamabad United during PSL 2020 [PC: Dawn]
Colin Munro in action for Islamabad United during PSL 2020 [PC: Dawn]

Back in March 2021, after opener Colin Munro's withdrawal from the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2021) was announced, Islamabad United were faced with quite a tough ask just a few weeks before their season opener.

In the previous edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2020), Munro enjoyed a terrific run with the bat, amassing 248 runs from just 8 matches at a strike rate of 147.6. With Munro's sudden unavailability, Islamabad needed to rush in a replacement for the dynamic southpaw.

While Englishman Alex Hales did provide a few flashes of brilliance, his absence for the remainder of PSL 2021 now means that the returning Munro will need to be the fulcrum of Islamabad's batting unit.

With the remainder of PSL 2021 scheduled to be staged close to 4000 km from Karachi in the United Arab Emirates, a lot will depend on Munro's form as Islamabad chase their third title in the competition.

In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Munro shed light on his excitement to rejoin the Islamabad squad, partnering Usman Khawaja at the top, Shadab Khan's captaincy and more.

Q. You will be replacing Alex Hales in the XI for the remainder of PSL 2021. What does it mean to rejoin the squad for this season?

Hales has been in some serious form in the PSL, BBL and every single tournament he’s been playing in. It’s exciting to be back on the field and hopefully we can play a good brand of cricket. Back with Islamabad from last year, I know a lot of the boys, looking forward to seeing all of them and representing Islamabad.

Q. After an excellent season in 2020, is the weight of expectations something that bothers you?

Last season was obviously a great season for me. The older I get, the lesser the expectations I have, I try to enjoy my cricket. If I score runs, it’s a huge bonus. If I’m enjoying the environment and enjoying my cricket, then that’ll put a smile on my face. If I score runs then great, else someone else will score them.

Q. What makes Shadab Khan a very good captain? What are some of the standout features of him as skipper?

I’ve played under a lot of captains, Shadab is up there as one of the best captains. He’s a young captain, but he’s really calm and that’s what I enjoy about him. The calm he brings to the group, when we’re out on the field. T20 is a hustle bustle format, very in your face, but he keeps you calm. You can see the way he talks to the bowlers and keeps them calm.

Even off the field, talking about cricket, he’s got a lot of knowledge for a young guy. He’s a great skipper, one of the guys to look out for as a leader within Pakistan too. I’ve played a lot of cricket with him, it's good to see him stepping up as a leader at such a young age and giving powerful tips to the guys coming through.

Q. Usman Khawaja will be playing his first PSL season, how excited are you to partner him?

Great to be alongside Uzzi, hopefully we’ll be 1 and 2. Two left-handers who like to go after the bowlers and we’ve got different sides to our game. If we get into trouble we can manipulate through the middle, Usman’s a class player. He's definitely more pleasing on the eye than I am, he’s a proper classical batsman, watching him in the BBL has been awesome as well. Hopefully we put up a good partnership at the top of the order.

Q. What do you make of the conditions in UAE, with PSL 2021 shifting there for the remainder of the season?

UAE has been pretty friendly to me. Although I didn't do well in my first PSL in UAE, NZ-wise I've done well there. Hopefully conditions are in my favour. It’s a pitch, you’ve got to adjust to it. If it’s a good batting pitch, make it rain and if it’s not then try to formulate Plan B or C to get a good total on the board.

Q. Islamabad are placed third in the points table with 3 wins from 4 matches. With two titles, what makes Islamabad United so successful?

We’re sitting pretty good on the table. The way they look after the players, even if you’re not scoring, they back you, they have a family environment which is great. Coaches have come and gone a little bit but besides that the guys behind the scenes make you feel welcome and be part of your family. Players come and go, but the franchise’s values really make them succeed.

Q. What makes PSL a lot different from other franchise-based leagues around the world?

I’ve experienced a lot of the leagues around the globe. What makes PSL a standout is that here we’ve got genuine pace throughout the tournament. Every team has a bowler that hits close to 150 (kph) and there's one more bowler who’s close to it as well. Every tournament, the overseas contingent brings in different elements. But I feel the PSL is a high quality tournament and up there with the biggest tournaments.

Q. In these times of the pandemic, what’s the hardest part of being a T20 globetrotter?

Being a T20 globetrotter is very difficult in this pandemic. Especially when you have a quarantine before, and New Zealand’s strict two-week rule before we get back. Now with PSL, 44 days away from home, 24 of that in the hotel room in isolation, it is tough. It’s a part and parcel of the sport now, you have to choose the right tournaments to play in. You can’t play in all of them else you’ll be stuck in hotel rooms for far too long.

Colin Munro has played 65 T20Is for New Zealand
Colin Munro has played 65 T20Is for New Zealand

Q. How much do you miss representing the Blackcaps, and will a good PSL 2021 season push your case for a return to the T20I setup?

It’s been a long time since I played for NZ. I do miss it, every time I put the silver fern on, it makes me incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved. I do miss it a hell of a lot, but I’m not looking too far forward. The goal is to win games and contribute to our matches. If that helps me get back into the Black Caps environment then that’s cool, but not looking too far ahead.

Q. What are your thoughts on the current slam bang approach to T20 cricket and the advent of T10 cricket? Is the notion of power hitting under-rated?

It’s great to see the game moving. I like to see innovation. With T20 and T10 coming in, it has also supported Test cricket. People are now chasing 300 or 400 in the last innings because of the power hitting, we’ve seen what Stokes and Buttler do for England, it’s brought excitement to all levels of cricket. It's also brought in different audiences for all forms of cricket. It’s really good for the game.

Check out India Squad for World Cup 2023 & South Africa Squad for World Cup 2023. Follow Sportskeeda for latest News.

Quick Links

Edited by Habil Ahmed Sherule
Be the first one to comment