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'Focused on putting a price on my wicket' - Haider Ali vows different approach for NZ series
Pakistan News

'Focused on putting a price on my wicket' - Haider Ali vows different approach for NZ series

Pakistan's rising batting sensation Haider Ali has promised to spend more time at the crease and preserve his wicket during the upcoming T20I assignment against New Zealand.

Haider, who made his international debut earlier this year in September, has acquired a reputation for being a flamboyant stroke-player and employing a fearless approach whilst batting.

The 20-year-old's attacking mindset is reflected from the high strike rate of close to 150 maintained over his four T20I appearances.

While Haider has already scored two fifties across these four T20I innings, he could not match the same form in two ODIs against Zimbabwe at home last month.

Haider made 29 and 13 at a rapid rate but perished off needless slogs on both occasions, prompting an introspection.

"I need to give myself more time at the crease, it is not wise to hit 2-3 boundaries and get dismissed on the next ball," Haider acknowledged in a virtual press conference on Saturday.

"My mentality now is to hit boundaries and take a single to rotate the strike and protect my wicket. This is the important lesson that I have learned since coming into the national side."

Nevertheless, Haider was keen to note that the supposed change in attitude would not affect his 'natural game' and this message was communicated to him by his mentors.

"They [team management] have asked me to play my natural game but also play according to the team's situation in the match.

"I will try my best to give my 100% in T20I and ODIs. The coaches and captain have backed me to just stay on the pitch and trust your shot selection."

Haider also shed light on the mentally taxing period of undergoing quarantine in New Zealand without being granted the exemption to train.

Pakistan's trip to New Zealand thus far has been mired in controversy regarding the positive Covid-19 tests of eight members of the touring party and revocation of training privileges of the team.

The Pakistan squad was given a "final warning" by the health authorities for breaching coronavirus protocols leading to a strict application of the quarantine rules.

Haider bemoaned the challenges involved in preparing for the clashes against New Zealand but vowed to put the difficulties behind him.

"The 14 days we spent in quarantine were difficult for us since we weren't allowed to practice. We only did training in our rooms," he pointed out.

"We have now been able to practice and take part in match scenario sessions in the past few days. We have to make the most of the limited time before the T20I series and do well against New Zealand."

He voiced optimism at the new dynamics of Pakistan's T20I team, which appears to possess plenty of fresh talent.

"Our T20 side is really good, and there are quite a few youngsters in the team like Abdullah Shafique and me. The team management and captain support the young players tremendously, which reduces the pressure felt by the new recruits," he added.