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  1. #1
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    "More weight needs to be given to domestic performances when selecting the Test side" : Abid Ali

    31-year-old opening batsman Abid Ali has impressed all with his recent successes in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy where he played a pivotal role in his side Habib Bank Limited's title-winning campaign. His performances during recent stints with Pakistan A against Australians, New Zealand A and England Lions have been greatly appreciated and he narrowly missed out on selection for the Pakistan Test squad for the tour of South Africa.

    In an exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, Abid spoke about the reasons for his excellent performances in domestic cricket this season, the benefits of playing for the Pakistan A side against some top-quality international bowlers, the reasons for a lack of quality Test batsmen from Pakistan, missing out on selection for the Pakistan Test squad against South Africa and his aspirations to play for the national side in the future.





    PakPassion.net: How do you feel about missing out on selection for the Test squad for the tour of South Africa?

    Abid Ali:
    Well, there is nothing much to say apart from accepting what is the reality. Yes, I am obviously disappointed but then this is all part and parcel of being a cricketer. I will move on from this and continue to work as hard as always and letís see what the future brings for me.


    PakPassion.net: Tell us a little about the innings of 134 you scored against SNGPL in the final of the recently concluded Quaid-e-Azam Trophy?

    Abid Ali:
    I am absolutely indebted to the Almighty for allowing me to play an innings which was crucial for my side HBL during the final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. SNGPL had put up a good first innings total on a good batting track, and so the challenge to play a long innings was there and I took that on by playing very focused cricket to get to my century. I am glad that my innings helped in ensuring that we remained competitive in that game and were able to win the trophy.


    PakPassion.net: Apart from the century in the final, your first-class season has been a good one hasn't it?

    Abid Ali:
    It's been an incredible season for me with my first-class side HBL. I scored 472 runs in 5 matches during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy this season, and based upon good performances in that competition, I was selected for the Pakistan A side which played against Australians, New Zealand A and England Lions. I believe that my success was due to some excellent preparation I did before the start of the season where I attended a camp at the NCA. I was really supported by Mushtaq Ahmed and Mansoor Rana who helped me improve my overall game, and Mudassar Nazar spent a lot of time with me on improving my batting skills which proved very useful. All this preparation gave me a good basis for the season and I scored my first hundred of the season early on which gave me great confidence as well.


    PakPassion.net: You seem equally adept in the four-day game and the 50-over format as well.

    Abid Ali:
    My performances speak for themselves as I scored two hundreds in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and also have a double-hundred against Peshawar for Islamabad during the National One-Day Cup at the start of the year. The 209 not-out I scored in this game was also the then highest List A score by a Pakistani batsman which does show that I am comfortable in the long and shorter formats of the game. Ultimately, more than talking about it, itís down to a batsmanís performances which set him apart from others and hopefully I will keep on performing in this way in the future too.


    PakPassion.net: How beneficial was your recent stint with Pakistan A in the UAE?

    Abid Ali:
    I really enjoyed my time with Pakistan A where I got to play against some excellent opposition in the UAE. To start with, the match against Australians was a good one as I gained a lot of confidence by playing innings of 85 and 52 against a bowling attack which had some top quality international front-line Australian bowlers like Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon. I carried the confidence I had gained from this match into the series against New Zealand A and was I able to replicate my good performances in that series too as I scored 83, 61 and then 104*. I then followed up my successes against New Zealand A with more good innings against England Lions. The 113 that I scored in the four-day game against a bowling attack which had the very fast Mark Wood in it was a memorable knock for me as we had to chase a very tough target of 312 runs and my innings was crucial in helping us win this game. In the five-match One-Day series after the one-off four-day game, I scored 140 which really gave me a great morale boost as well. I suppose, I utilised all my skills and experience from before to deliver the best I could for my team and of course, also learnt a lot from playing against some quality opposition bowlers during my stint with Pakistan A.


    PakPassion.net: Is there a shortage of good quality batsmen in Pakistan who can do well in the longer formats of the game?

    Abid Ali:
    It's not for me to say or comment about others but my view is that there is a lot of focus on the faster-paced style of cricket such as the very popular Twenty20 format. We now have the T10 version as well and so it seems that less people are interested in Test cricket and the emphasis on the longer format of the game has reduced from before. I feel that there should be more focus in domestic cricket on the four-day versions of the game. Whilst the PCB has paid much more attention to the longer format, it is also true that tournaments such as the Pakistan Super League are grabbing more coverage and it has got to the point that someone performing well in the PSL has a very good chance of making an entry into the Pakistan side. We have some very good performers in domestic cricket who are doing well in first-class cricket and more weight needs to be given to their performances when selecting the Test side.


    PakPassion.net: Who are your role models in terms of batting?

    Abid Ali:
    I have never followed any player in particular as I have great belief in my own abilities and I'm always looking to improve my skills. In terms of players I admire greatly, it has to be the legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar and I do study his shot selection and balance at the crease. Then there is Ricky Ponting who I also admire and of course when it comes to Pakistan batsman, there is no better example than Inzamam-ul-Haq. I suppose, without blindly following any batsmen, my intention is to adapt all the good aspects of top players. I would like to also mention Kane Williamson here as we all saw his batting in the recent Test series against Pakistan. In fact, you may have seen my picture with Kane Williamson in my social media profile and that is because I was really impressed by him not only due to his obvious batting skills but also the fact that he plays with a cool head and that is so important for any batsman. This is also a quality that I wish to have in my batting.


    PakPassion.net: Your thoughts on the current standard of domestic cricket in Pakistan?

    Abid Ali:
    I have seen a lot of improvement in the standard of domestic cricket in the past few years and with the new Chairman in place, we are hearing of more changes to the system which is good news for Pakistan cricket. So, day by day, things are improving but we also have to realise that there has been an increase in the number of events in the calendar and the PCB has to make sure that each event is given its own importance. This is a difficult task for the PCB in terms of scheduling and other arrangements, but they will need to work harder to ensure that standards are maintained. In terms of improvements, I would like to see more first-class games being televised and special attention paid to the quality of umpiring in these matches which I have to say has improved a lot over the years. Similarly, the quality of grounds and facilities are all areas which need attention from the PCB as well. As far as the type of balls used in domestic cricket are concerned, I have been comfortable with the Dukes ball for a few seasons now and to be honest, we as cricketers will play with any ball that is acceptable to the PCB and it's our job to focus, adjust and play our best with whichever ball that is used.


    PakPassion.net: There seems to be a shortage of quality openers in domestic cricket, but you have done really well. What is the reason for your success?

    Abid Ali:
    There is no magic or secret to my success in domestic cricket. To, me itís simply down to the preparation I do on the day I have to bat. And while I am batting, I am totally focused on the task at hand and think carefully about what shots I wish to play. But most importantly, I bat according to the requirements of the team and as per the match situation and then trust my skills and judgement to do the best for my side.


    PakPassion.net: Who are the toughest bowlers you have faced in domestic cricket so far?

    Abid Ali:
    To be honest, all of Pakistanís domestic bowlers I have faced have been tough to counter and it's difficult to single out any one bowler like that. In my view, each of the bowlers whom I have played against such as Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Usman Shinwari are all very skilful and ask a different and tough question from each batsman, but I have found Mohammad Abbas particularly difficult to face. Also remember that when you play a long innings, then you are also likely to be tested by spinners so even in the area of spin bowling, we do come across some tough competitors and Pakistan is also blessed in this aspect of our cricket as well.


    PakPassion.net: What are your plans for the future. Are you optimistic about a place in the national side?

    Abid Ali:
    The aim is to continue what I am doing now which is to work hard and also score more runs. I have been told to work on my fitness which is something I will be paying a lot of attention to and will be training in the NCA to ensure that I am ready whenever the chance comes to play for Pakistan in future.


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  2. #2
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    Seems like a sensible chap. Abid Ali and Fakhar Zaman are the two highest scoring openers in 4 day cricket in the last two seasons - he should have been on the plane to South Africa.

  3. #3
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    Time has come when we try new breed of batsmen. They certainly cant do any worse than our existing crop.

    Abid should get a chance

  4. #4
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    No one has exposed Inzamam infront of the country more than this player. Imam ul Haq with his club level technique can't stand a chance infront of this opener. Abid Ali scored 3x100s against England Lions and NZ A, with a well made 85 against Australia in a 4-day. The way Abid Ali has been ignored is really shameful and open nepotism by chief selector to protect his nephew

  5. #5
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    Very hard done by Inzi.

  6. #6
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    Inzimam should be sacked from the team for such open nepotism. It’s common knowledge that he also had a preference for certain players during his captaincy. Incompetent and nepotistic selector.
    Last edited by MenInG; 14th December 2018 at 11:53.

  7. #7
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    So Inzi found him too fat? He said he has been told by selectors/Pak's management to work on his fitness.

    That's probably why they preferred Shan Masood over Abid.


    "You aren't a failure if you fail, you are a failure if you don't get up to try again" - Imran Khan.

  8. #8
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    His surname isnt masood or haq so thats his reason for nonselection. Nepotism is ripe still in pcb selections

  9. #9
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    Mate if you changed your name to abid ul haq... and somehow proved your a distant relative to IUQ then maybe there is a chance but till then you'll have to wait for imam to.retire...

  10. #10
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    Inzi has been a disappointment. Players like bilal asif and mir hamza getting dropped..fair enough but this clear biasedness towards the nephew is like 'jo ukhard saktey ho ukhard lo...imam tou khelta rahey ga' .

  11. #11
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    Fat fat fat..like those who are fit as usain bolt have already won us games as per micky and inzi mentality

  12. #12
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    Abid ali is a clear front runner to be selected for the tests... imam is a clear minnow basher...yaar kuch tou ghairat hoti hai... such open nepotism...i seriously hope this bites back to micky..inzi and sarfaraz for being such a mute when it matters yet openly shouts his lungs out on junior players...

  13. #13
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    Don't know how good this guy is but he does look chunky

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRsohail View Post
    Very hard done by Inzi.
    Actually, more than Inzi he is hard done by Selectors 5, may be 10 years back. Guy has debuted in FC cricket exactly 11 years back and guy had a decent start in FC career.

    If you look at his FC career by season (http://www.pcboard.com.pk/Pakistan/P...by_Season.html), he had couple of very good seasons as opener in 2008-10 period when he should have been called for A squad, subsequently to Test side. Even if not then, he had excellent couple of back2back seasons in 2012-14 period, when he was at the perfect age to be drafted as Test opener.

    I understand, he is scoring lots of runs in last 2 years, but now guy is 30+ and I believe he is much older than that official age - not suggested to be invested as a Test opener who might be in his last purple patch. By the time, he settles into the Test arena, his body might betray for a Test opener. Investing on Imam (or previously Shan) isn't the worst idea, just that he isn't good enough for the job.

  15. #15
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    But again after Hafeez retirement testing him in SA conditions might not have been a sensible decision and also one must not forget what happened to Nasir Jamshed when he got inducted in Test series against SA as he struggled for runs in odi's as well after that.

  16. #16
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    I was the first one here who wrote heavily in favor of his selection but sigh...

    I dont think there is any need to repeat the same when it falls on deaf ears.

    Bad luck Abid!


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  17. #17
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    Your name needs to be Shan. And then Masood.

    For unquestionable selection.

    Despite woeful technique and horrendous intl showings.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Actually, more than Inzi he is hard done by Selectors 5, may be 10 years back. Guy has debuted in FC cricket exactly 11 years back and guy had a decent start in FC career.

    If you look at his FC career by season (http://www.pcboard.com.pk/Pakistan/P...by_Season.html), he had couple of very good seasons as opener in 2008-10 period when he should have been called for A squad, subsequently to Test side. Even if not then, he had excellent couple of back2back seasons in 2012-14 period, when he was at the perfect age to be drafted as Test opener.

    I understand, he is scoring lots of runs in last 2 years, but now guy is 30+ and I believe he is much older than that official age - not suggested to be invested as a Test opener who might be in his last purple patch. By the time, he settles into the Test arena, his body might betray for a Test opener. Investing on Imam (or previously Shan) isn't the worst idea, just that he isn't good enough for the job.
    Agree he is too old now and also not the fittest. Too many players have been waiting. Its a shame they dont get picked earlier!

  19. #19
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    Much as I am annoyed by Imam’s selection, I am far more annoyed by Shan Masoods selection. He was pants in England in 2014. And we know that he will score in domestic. But it’s like selecting Khurram Manzoor. You know he is giant of domestic and pigmy in international cricket.

  20. #20
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    47 in National T20 Cup today so showing a lot of talent in pretty much each format!


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  21. #21
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    Name:  2a7c6593-3caf-4fcb-ba4f-c5ada6b48974.jpg
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    Made a fifty today.


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  22. #22
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    Unfortunately, it seems the boat has already sailed for him but with Paksitani Cricket you never know so there is still a hope for him. The guy should have made it to the team at least 5 years back and should have been a regular now.

  23. #23
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    Can he be sent to SA somehow??


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  24. #24
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    He's overweight. It's a sad reflection of domestic cricket that such basic things aren't fixed at the grassroots.

    The national team shouldn't have to teach players what to eat and how to train.

    The point about a domestic system is producing cricketers that are ready for international cricket (at the very least by meeting basic fitness standards).

  25. #25
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    This would be a great time to send Abid Ali as Haris Sohail replacement.


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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    This would be a great time to send Abid Ali as Haris Sohail replacement.
    What about the 'indispensable' yo-yo ?? Has he worked on his fitness recently

  27. #27
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    Can Abid Ali be Azhar's successor ? Given our opening troubles, the decision not to exclude a consistent domestic performer like him in this Test season is baffling.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Can Abid Ali be Azhar's successor ? Given our opening troubles, the decision not to exclude a consistent domestic performer like him in this Test season is baffling.
    Inzi thinks he is the answer to our woes at the top of the order in ODIs

  29. #29
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    Congratulations to Abid for making it to the ODI squad!


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  30. #30
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    His selection is definetly on merit. The other good thing is, he can also keep wickets. And open the batting. So that number 7 spot could be accommodated for an allrounder.

  31. #31
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    To be fair he deserved his spot in the test series against SA.

    If he fails in the ODI's that would mean an end to his Test chances as well. Hope for his sake that he succeeds so that hey can progress to his primary format, Test cricket.


    "You aren't a failure if you fail, you are a failure if you don't get up to try again" - Imran Khan.

  32. #32
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    Finally justice has been done but he should've been selected for the New Zealand Tests.

    Abid was outstanding in the A team series against England and New Zealand in UAE.

  33. #33
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    Obviously great news for Abid Ali.

    But that begs the question.

    He is good enough to be in ODI squad but no team picks him for PSL?

    Does that make sense?


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