Pakistani middle-order batsman Sohaib Maqsood believes his inability to convert starts into big innings led to his exodus from the national team.
The 30-year-old, while talking to PakPassion, added that a wrist injury also caused a lot of problems for him in his relatively short career in the national team.
“I’d put that down to bad performances,” said Sohaib. “When I was playing consistently, I had so many chances to convert starts into big innings. I let myself down with some below-par performances. Other than that, the wrist injury I sustained was a major setback in my career. A bone was removed from my hand, and two years on, I still have not entirely recovered from the operation I underwent. I have had a decent amount of injuries in my career, but that specific wrist injury threatened my career more than any other injury in the past.”
The right-handed batsman said a player needs to be mentally strong to comeback from physical injuries and he is doing just that.
“As a professional cricketer, you have to be mentally strong in order to lift yourself up in such situations, where you are down and tackling an injury,” he explained. “As I said, I have had a few injuries even before I had started playing international cricket, but then because of my mental strength, I was able to return stronger as a player and was able to put up notable performances in the domestic circuit. Unfortunately, in this case, I could not recover from this wrist injury as quickly as I was expecting to and that factor hampered my comeback to the national side.”
Sohaib, who represented Pakistan in 26 ODIs scoring 735 runs with an average of 31.95, believes he needs to work on fitness first and foremost if he wants to make a comeback in the national side.
“The most important aspect which I feel I need to work on and improve on is my fitness,” he said. “This new culture has been introduced in Pakistan where you find district level cricketers training hard when they are not playing on the field. There is no off-season so one has to even train during match days if one has to improve on his fitness. We are playing cricket the entire year as there are four to five months of domestic cricket, and then there is franchise cricket as well. If you are part of the national team, you are playing international cricket and if not, you are part of some league outside the country. There is a lot of cricket these days, so one must keep oneself fit during the year to cope with the stress and workload.”
He continued by saying that fitness and fielding go hand in hand. “Moreover, I feel that fielding and fitness go hand in hand,” he said. “You have to keep yourself fit in order to produce your best fielding effort on the ground. When you have played cricket at this level, you obviously know how to grab the ball, how to dive properly and so on. The only real difference is how fit a player is which effects selection for international games. The standard of fitness has to be top notch and only then you can also become a top fielder. You have to be energetic and agile on the field, and must have strength in your legs to run for a longer period of time.”