ABBOTABAD: Pakistan vice-captain Mohammad Hafeez is unperturbed by his below-par batting show ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy, saying that he will stick to his normal techniques.
Deemed a key member of the team’s fragile batting line-up, the experienced all-rounder has had a torrid time with the bat, managing just 43 runs in six Test innings and 118 in five One-Day Internationals during the South Africa tour.
Given his presence at the top of the order, the team expects him to give a good start but a solitary half-century in 11 innings against the Proteas raised concerns regarding his performance.
However, the 32-year-old feels there is no need to press the panic button just yet.
“I am just focusing on my technique,” said Hafeez, speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing training camp at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium. “Whether you’re a batsman or a bowler, you go back to your normal technique to bring an improvement. It’s not a huge concern if you fail in just one series. Improvement is a must and we are trying to make progress in this camp.”
Hafeez felt the fact that Pakistan was deprived of hosting international matches was also making it tough for the team’s batsmen.
Hafeez optimistic about Champions Trophy
But the all-rounder felt the disadvantage of not playing at home will not affect the overall performance of the team in the mega event.
“We have been playing in different countries and producing good results with a success rate of 60-65 per cent. The team also does well in ICC events and hopefully, our team – which is a blend of youth and experience – will get good results.”
The all-rounder was also content with the training camp in Abbottabad.
“The objective was to prepare in conditions similar to those in Scotland, Ireland and England. We are getting it — the cooler conditions and moisture in the pitch,” he said, before adding the presence of legends Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram will prove beneficial.
“Even a minute with the legend is coveted but I feel they should be associated with the team for a longer run as it can bring vast improvement.”
Meanwhile, the team played a practice match yesterday that was aimed at giving every bowler and batsman competitive action to prepare for the Champions Trophy.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2013.