Asad Shafiq keen to make comeback into Pakistan team

Test batsman is looking to regain his form and impress the national team selectors once again

Asad Shafiq keen to make comeback into Pakistan team PHOTO: Reuters

Middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq is motivated to make a comeback into the Pakistan team after being dropped from the Test side for the first time in 10 years ahead of New Zealand tour.

While speaking in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, Shafiq said that he is looking to regain his form and impress the national team selectors once again through his performances in the ongoing Quaid-e Azam Trophy.

“It obviously bothers you when you get dropped after being a permanent part of the team. However, I have taken this positively. I am playing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy for only two reasons right now. First is to take Sindh to the top of the table and second is to make a comeback in the national side,” said Shafiq.

“I have to improve my conversion rate, because while playing for Pakistan, I was not able to convert fifties into hundreds for past two years,” he added.

In a bid to improve his form, Karachi-born batsman also sought the advice of former Pakistan batting great Mohammad Yousuf, who is currently working as a batting coach at National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore.

“I was working on a few things for the past two years. During England tour as well, Misbah and Younis bhai pointed out few things in my batting, which I agreed with. I also had a chat recently with Yousuf bhai, who feels that I need to work more on the mental aspect of my game rather than technical. I need to go back and assess what I was doing right mentally which was working for me, so I can get back in form,” he said.

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The 34-year-old admitted that he is yet to reach his full potential as a batsman and there is still a lot to do for Pakistan cricket.

“If you look at the record of all top batsmen in the world, no one has batted at number six in the batting order more than me. I have batted at number six position for seventy percent of my career. So, a batsman at number six has less opportunity to play longer innings since he bats with a wicketkeeper and tailenders most of the time. I have the best record among batsmen who have batted at number six. However, I should have performed better for Pakistan considering my potential. I am focused on rectifying my earlier mistakes and performing better whenever I make a return to the national team” he said.

Shafiq is also is keen to free himself from the burden of Test specialist tag and has somewhat aimed to feature in the limited-overs format for the Men in Green.

“My performances in one-day matches in last five years have been really good. I have scored centuries and played match-winning knocks for my team. My job is to keep performing and the rest depends on selectors. I have never limited myself to Test cricket. Whichever format I play, my two motivations are to win the game for my team and make a return to the national side,” he concluded.