LAHORE – Pakistan cricket team opening batsman Shan Masood has said that although playing in foreign conditions is never an easy task, yet he is confident of doing well against New Zealand at their own backyard.
Talking to the journalists during a virtual media talk on Thursday, the left-handed batsman said: “Playing in countries like England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand is never easy, rather it is always challenging for the visiting sides but I am confident of doing well against New Zealand.”
“We have enough time here in New Zealand prior to start of Test series against the hosts. We will also play a four-day game against New Zealand A with Pakistan Shaheens, so it will provide us good opportunity to prepare ourselves for the red-ball cricket here and also deliver against the Black Caps at their home ground,” he added.
Recalling the England Test series, which Pakistan lost by 1-0, the 31-year-old batsman said: “We did well in England and posed tough challenge to the hosts but one bad session at Manchester Test changed the series result for us. There is a dire need to learn from our mistakes and try to avoid such mistakes and play with more positive frame of mind, which will help us win the New Zealand series.”
Shan Masood said that the country’s current seventh position in the ICC Test ranking doesn’t reflect the team’s actual potential. He said that not a long time ago, Pakistan were on number one in red-ball cricket and it is currently in cycle of re-building. “You are always in a cycle, which goes on and we are in same cycle.
“Few months back, we were the number one team in the Tests and today we are at the seventh and I believe that this position is not reflective of the team’s potential,” he said and added: “We are a young team, under a new captain and new players are gelling themselves in. I hope with New Zealand tour, we will start our journey to climb on ICC Test ranking charts.”
When asked about the strict quarantine period of 14 days before getting back to track, the left-handed batsman replied that the isolation shouldn’t affect the team’s readiness for the series. “The 14-day quarantine doesn’t change what you’ve gained throughout the year. It stays with you. The rustiness is usual after such a gap but we have ample time to overcome it.
“I must admit that these 14 days were never easy for all of us and we accepted it as challenge. Now this tough time has passed and the good thing is that we don’t have any more restrictions, there is no bubble and we are free to live our normal life in the New Zealand.
We are practising very hard and we are hopeful of doing the best against the hosts and we will try to help our team win the series,” Shan added. Pakistan will play the T20Is against New Zealand on December 18, 20 and 22 while the first Test will from December 26.