Sports News

One series at a time for in-form Haris Sohail

“The World Cup is still a little while away.”

This is the usual take of a player who has been selected to take part in the World Cup. Let along players, for at least a year, things have been slowly buildings towards a World Cup. For Haris Sohail, the nest step is the England series.

“Before that, we have a very important series against England. England is a quality side, the number one team. If we win that series, we’ll get a great deal of help in getting used to those conditions. We still have about 10 matches to go before the World Cup if you count all the practice matches. So we’re hopeful of getting acclimatized well and producing good results at the World Cup,” he said.

In a fairly gloomy Australia series for Pakistan fans, Haris Sohail was one of the few bright spots.

“Since the Australia series, my confidence and form is in a good place,” Haris said. “Over the past few days, I wasn’t feeling too great, but a match situation is different, and the [practice] match we played today, the ball felt great on the bat.”

World Cup 2019 Squad Pakistan

Haris’ form has been fairly good but his injury record means he has been in and out of the side. He discussed how an incorrect operation had aggravated the problems.

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“What happened to me was I was operated on incorrectly, and I struggle because of that. Nobody wants to live through injuries, but as a sportsman, injuries do happen in cricket. Here, the media makes a big deal of injuries. If you look at Australia, every two series, one bowler or another is unfit. I bowl too, so please keep that in mind. I’m trying to complete my rehab properly and put my injury behind me once and for all. But because it was operated upon incorrectly, I do struggle with it sometimes.”

One could question the logic of comparing a batsman and a bowler’s fitness. Also, in comparison Australia’s pace bowling reserves are numerous as opposed to Pakistan’s arsenal of batsmen.

The Lahore Qalandar’s man also stressed that maintaining a healthy strike rate isn’t a problem for him.

“Cricket is a different game nowadays,” Haris said. “Now, when your number three or four plays a big innings or gets a hundred, batsmen play around him. In ODI cricket, a total above 300 is now par. Not in the UAE, where pitches are slower and you need to take more time. But definitely that applies in countries like England. So over there, you’ll see us play more aggressively. If you talk about the strike rate, conditions differ depending on where you are. Against Australia in the first ODI, it was very important for me to play 50 overs rather than score quickly. Even so, I scored my century in 114 balls, while [Aaron] Finch got his [in the same game] in 119. The second century I scored, my strike rate was over 100.”

With Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik back in the squad, it remains to be seen at spot Haris gets his chance in the World. It would be a waste to make him at the bench, in my opinion but that looks to be the likely scenario.


Asjad Khan

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