Pakistan not overconfident for second Test, says Hasan Ali

Pacer reveals visitors are fully focused on the series decider against England

Pakistan not overconfident for second Test, says Hasan Ali PHOTO: REUTERS

Pakistan fast-bowler Hasan Ali insists that the visitors are fully focused on the job in hand and that over confidence will not play a part in the second Test between Pakistan and England, which starts from June 1 at Headingley in Leeds.

Ali claimed four wickets in Pakistan’s comprehensive nine-wicket win over England in the first Test at Lord’s which allowed the Men in Green to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.

And the pacer is confident, not over confident, of repeating the feat. “As a professional, we don’t get over confident,” said Ali in an interview with ESPNcricinfo. “Yes we performed really well in the previous match, but our focus is on the next match which is extremely important for us. We want to win it and win the series.”

Talking about his experience of playing at Lord’s, Ali said: “While I have played an ODI at Lord’s, featuring in a five-day match at the Home of Cricket is truly a dream come true. This victory is a real learning curve for us. We are absolutely delighted with this performance as it has taught us a lot.”

Ali, meanwhile, praised skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and head coach Mickey Arthur saying that the two are really important in instilling confidence in the team.

“Saify [Sarfraz] bhai and Mickey [Arthur] give us confidence and keep telling us that we are better and we can produce better results,” he said. “They kept telling us that we have the skill and we can do it. Their faith in our ability increased our confidence which helped us immensely in producing the kind of performance we did at Lord’s.”

It was Pakistan’s second consecutive win at Lord’s in the space of two years in the five-day format, but unlike 2016, the current team comprises of a lot of youngsters.

Yet despite the inexperience of the side, Ali is confident that the current line-up has all that it needs to upset the Three Lions in their own backyard.

“They [Misbahul Haq and Younis Khan] were our legends but now they’ve retired,” he said. “But this is how life is; we need to move on. This is everyone’s team, not of one or two individuals. After them, we still have enough potential in the batting department to score big runs as we’ve got Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Imamul Haq, Babar Azam and Sarfraz Ahmed. This is a young team full of potential and we are working to get better with every passing day.”

Talking about his own performance, Ali revealed that he followed the plans which were discussed before the game.

“Every game is a learning curve and coming into this match, there was some pressure on me as I got injured after playing just one Test in each of the last two series,” he said. “I came in with full confidence and my focus was to do well for the team and I was pleased with the overall performance. We saw their footages before and knew what their weaknesses were; so we just focused on following the plan.”

Ali was uncertain to start in the first Test after splitting the webbing on his hand, but the Mandi Bahauddin-pacer revealed that it was not serious enough for him to miss the chance of representing Pakistan at Lord’s.

“To represent Pakistan and that too at Lord’s; the injury was never going to be an issue for me,” he said. “Yes I had a bit of pain but I made sure no one knew it on the pitch. Now I am much better and I will be 100% fit for the second match.”