Openers need full opportunity to deliver, says Shan Masood
21 August, 2021
LAHORE - Pakistan Test opener Shan Masood says that opening department is the toughest in Test cricket and the openers need full opportunity to deliver for their teams.
Talking to The Nation, Shan said: “Patience is needed to make a successful opening pair and the more opportunities the openers avail; the better they perform for their side. The teams, whose opening players have achieved success, have provided continuous opportunities to their openers, who, in return, played key role in their sides’ crucial victories. The best examples of such openers include Majid Khan, Haneef Muhammad, Saeed Anwar, Aamir Sohail, Alastair Cook, Kraigg Brathwaite and others.”
He lamented that he has been suffering from the most ‘in’ and ‘outs’ as he has played only 25 Test matches in eight years. “See successful openers from other teams, how many opportunities have they got in eight years? The opening department is the toughest in Test cricket. The openers have to score runs, to face new ball and to make it old, to provide a strong foundation to the middle order, to compete well against the opponents’ bowlers and to have complete check and balance on strike rate, so with all such responsibilities, it is the toughest job for them to provide their side a good start. So they must be encouraged and given due chances unless they get fit and start giving consistent performances.”
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Shan, eyeing a place in the national team especially in Test cricket, has been working very hard on his fitness and game and training well with proper diet plan so that he may deliver for national team, if given an opportunity. “I am playing all kinds of cricket and I don’t want to restrict myself in a particular format. I’m trying to gain the selectors’ confidence through better play in the first class, list A and Twenty20 cricket.
“My focus is on my performance and wherever I get the opportunity, I try to avail it in the best possible manner. I am playing white-ball cricket continuously after being dropped from the national team while my numbers are improving in the limited-over cricket. It is not fair to say that there is unnecessary support from my father, as I am working very hard on my game and I want to deliver for my team and my country,” he added.
“I always learn a lot, whenever I play long innings in a Test match. If I get out too early, even then while sitting in the pavilion, I learn from others while seeing other cricketers playing. It saddens when I bat well and prolong my innings, but fail to convert my score in triple figures. In Australia, learnt a lot, which helped me play well in England and score century against the hosts. Then I was dropped again after poor performance against New Zealand.
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“I always try to play better in every situation and try to give my best. If I am given proper chances, I can help resolve the opening issues of Pakistan team. Yes, there are other openers and there is a healthy competition and everyone is waiting for the opportunity, even then I will say, continuous chances especially for openers are vital to get results. Saeed Anwar is my favorite player and I want to play some remarkable innings like him. If I get chances, I will not disappoint the selectors,” Shan concluded.