Former captain revealed that he was consumed with negative thoughts during the early part of his England career
Former England captain Andrew Strauss has revealed how he followed Pakistan batting great Mohammad Yousaf’s philosophy in cricket, in order to help revive his international career.
While speaking in a Sky Sports Cricket podcast, the former cricketer said that he was consumed with negative thoughts during the early part of his England career until it all changed in a Test match against New Zealand in 2008 in Napier.
“After playing 50 odd Tests, I was consumed with thinking that I was going to get dropped from the team as I wasn’t playing well. I was struggling so hard with myself and wasn’t scoring many runs," said Strauss. “Then it all came to head in Napier in New Zealand. It was pretty clear to everyone that if I didn’t score runs in the second innings, I would be dropped for a long period of time. Having had 12 months worrying and fearing about the humiliation of getting dropped, when that was actually the next thing that was going to happen to me, I just let go all my feelings. I was thinking that if this is my last innings for England then I am just going to go out and enjoy it and almost treat it like my debut. My debut was a step into the unknown for me much like this one and so what will happen, will happen. I thought I am not in control of this, the God is in control and amazingly with that mindset I went out and got 177."
The 43-year-old finally shared how he learned a great deal from watching the transformation in Yousaf’s approach, since his conversion to Islam, towards his batting.
“I don’t think you can just click and switch and change your mindset," he said. “I always like to use the example of Mohammad Yousaf. When he was Yousaf Youhana, he was averaging 40 in Test cricket. Then he became a devout Muslim and on the back of that he had this philosophy that God willing, what will happen will happen. He had a much different outlook on life and he went from averaging 40 over the space of three years to averaging 70 in Test cricket. And that’s just based on shifting his perspective on life. He was almost trying not to be as much in control of his batting as he was previously. Just kind of accepting that the fate will have something in store for him. I think that was a really good illustration for me that sometimes you just have to let it all go."
“If I was working with a young player, this would be the philosophy I would try to embed in them," he added.
It must be noted that Yousuf Youhana had taken the Muslim name of Muhammad Yousuf after embracing Islam, back in September 2005.
Formerly a member of the country's Christian minority, Youhana became a Muslim along with his wife and children.