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'Power-hitting is my strength' - Khushdil Shah vows to play his natural game
Pakistan News

'Power-hitting is my strength' - Khushdil Shah vows to play his natural game

Khushdil Shah, one of the three uncapped players in Pakistan's T20I squad, has set his eyes on playing attacking cricket in the forthcoming three-match series in Australia.

Pakistan decided to make a host of changes to the 16-member contingent following the 0-3 drubbing at the hands of an inexperienced Sri Lanka side in Lahore.

Khushdil earned a maiden call-up to the national side providing the team management with an extra power-hitting option besides Asif Ali, who is yet to deliver a memorable performance on the international stage.

“Power-hitting is my strength and I have worked very hard on it,” said the 24-year-old a day ahead of the team's departure to Australia.

Khushdil's penchant for clubbing towering sixes is widely known in the domestic circuit as he possesses the record for the most number of maximums among batsmen in List A Cricket in Pakistan since 2016.

"My natural game is to play aggressive cricket, just like the Australians. The aim is to back the trust of the selectors shown in me by performing well," he added.

Pakistan face a stiff challenge tackling the Aaron Finch-led Australia team in conditions unknown to several youngsters making the trip to the country for the first time.

The left-handed batsman remarked the traditionally bouncy tracks 'down under' were similar to the pitches he was used to playing on in Abbottabad and Islamabad.

"As a player, I am always ready to perform; be it against Sri Lanka or Australia. There is no pressure on me. Even if I falter, I always have a chance to go back to domestic cricket and perform there," Khushdil confidently stated.

The southpaw said he idolises former opening batsman Saeed Anwar and was inspired by him to pursue the sport professionally despite resistance at home.

Pakistan take on a Chris Lynn-led side in a tour game before the T20I series kicks off on November 3 at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground.

'Had my father been alive, he would have been very proud' - Usman Qadir

Leg-spinner Usman Qadir, son of the legendary Abdul Qadir, was another surprise inclusion in the T20I side for the Australia series.

Interacting with the media on Friday, an emotional Usman recounted his late father's wish to see his son don the national colours.

"I am really missing my father today. Had he been alive, he would have been very proud of me," he said.

Just last year, Usman had decided to move to Australia and represent them in international cricket, going on to make his debut for Western Australia in the 2018 JLT One-Day Cup.

The 26-year-old claimed his father's persistence to come back to Pakistan convinced him to return and restart his journey in domestic cricket.

"My father always wanted me to stay strong. I was named to tour West Indies but I could not go and play there. He [Abdul Qadir] always encouraged me to play for Pakistan," Usman said.

With Pakistan chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq recently emphasising on the dearth of wrist-spin talent in the country and Shadab Khan's dwindling form of late, Usman will have an important role to play in Australia.