Saud Shakeel prioritizes winning matches over captaincy for Pakistan

The tour will open at the Perth Stadium on 14 December and it will mark the first instance of Pakistan playing a Test at the venue

Saud Shakeel prioritizes winning matches over captaincy for Pakistan PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan's Test middle-order batter, Saud Shakeel, has underscored his unwavering commitment to securing triumphs for Pakistan in the upcoming three-match Test series against Australia, placing the team's success at the forefront of his priorities.

In a recent interview with a local news channel, Shakeel addressed the challenges of international tours emphasizing the importance of meticulous preparation tailored to the unique demands of each series. 

"Whenever you go on any tour, you prepare accordingly and try to prepare for the scenarios that you are likely to encounter, and you practice in accordance with the Tests that you will be facing. In the same way, I have practiced my special skills recently as well," Saud Shakeel said.

The 28-year-old also emphasized that his main priority is to contribute to the team's successes rather than pursuing personal milestones.

"I don't think in a way that I have to score centuries or become the top scorer. My personal goal is to contribute to the team's victory whenever I perform," he said.

While acknowledging his previous experience as a captain in age group cricket, Shakeel emphasized that, at this early stage of his career, his primary focus is squarely on securing victories for Pakistan.

"If you're talking about age group cricket, then yes, I have captained. However, right now, I'm not thinking about these things because it's the early stage of my career. My entire focus is on winning matches for Pakistan whenever I perform," he said.

During media conference after today's training session, Shakeel also opened up about the camaraderie within the team, shedding light on the light-hearted banter he shares with his fellow teammates, including former captain Babar Azam.

"Babar called me 'chota don' in fun. When he was the captain, even then he used to do that oftenly. That's his way of showing affection," Shakeel said.

The young cricketer also addressed the perception that players may prioritize personal achievements over team success, stating firmly, "This perception is wrong that anyone is playing for their personal achievements. You are always playing for Pakistan when you are wearing a star." 

Highlighting the sense of national pride that comes with representing the country, Saud stressed that every player dons the national colors with the utmost dedication and commitment. "On the day, it is my topmost priority to contribute to Pakistan's win whenever I perform," he affirmed.

It is worth noting that the middle-order batter is closing in on 1000 Test runs, having scored an impressive 875 runs in seven Tests. To match Vinod Kambli's record as the fastest Asian to reach 1000 Test runs in 14 innings, Shakeel needs to score 15 runs in the first innings of the opening Test match.

Pakistan squad for Australia Tests: Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi

Australia tour schedule:

  • Four-day match: PM’s XI vs Pakistan – December 6-9: Manuka Oval, Canberra
  • 1st Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 14-18: Perth Stadium
  • 2nd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 26-30: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
  • 3rd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – January 3-7: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)