You Have To Finish The Game Batting At Six Or Seven – Nawaz

Pakistan’s Mohammad Nawaz is firstly a left arm spinner but his contribution with the bat made him a very expensive commodity in the shortest format of the game. In the Bangladesh Premier League, country’s lone franchise-based T20 tournament there is always a demand for Nawaz as in Bangladeshi condition there is always scope for a player of his stature to shine considering there are not too many cricketers who can bowl four tight overs as well as guide the team by fulfilling the responsibility of a finisher. Nawaz, who is regular in BPL since 2019 and won title once for Rajshahi Royals, had a short stint with Khulna Tigers in the ongoing edition of the cash-rich tournament.

He returned home after playing four matches in the BPL to take part in Pakistan Super League but before leaving, this left-hander has created a storm considering out of four matches with the bat, he batted in 3 innings and scored 100 runs in 1 fifty, averaging 50 as well as decorated with 142.85 strike-rate. He also picked five wickets with an economy rate of 6.83 in four games. During an exclusive chat with Kriknews Nawaz discloses his batting philosophy along with many other things.

Here are the excerpts:

How was your experience in the Bangladesh Premier League for Khulna Tigers? 

Nawaz: The BPL was good like the way the team performed and the way I played with that I am happy. It is unfortunate that I have to leave in the midst of the tournament. But I always enjoy playing in Bangladesh and it was no different this time as well. I have a lot of experience in Bangladesh and playing BPL regularly and the Khulna management to everyone was very caring. The team is young and spending time with them was enjoyable.

You had a pretty young side? What is your take on that and how is your role when you come and join a young franchise-based T20 team? 

Nawaz: The players that we have are very talented and they are eager to learn and always asking me questions and some of them wanted to know my experience in shorter-format cricket and I really love this side of franchise cricket.

You always have a big demand in BPL as a bowling all-rounder? How do you see that? 

Nawaz: In this condition there is always a demand for bowling all-rounders and that is a plus point for me as well as responsibility because the team expects match winning performance. In one way this gives happiness as you would like to win the game leaving behind the burden of expectations and that helps you grow as a player.

Your role in franchise-based T20 tournaments and in the Pakistan team when they are playing in the shortest format is quite the same so how do you look at that?  

Nawaz: I have a similar role in Pakistan that I am fulfilling in the BPL. I have to play according to the conditions, considering batting at six or seven in a T20 is very important as you have to finish the game. I play a similar role in Pakistan.

In T20 cricket you play in a very critical position considering you are expected to play the role of the finisher? It cannot be easy by any means so how do you prepare for it?

At first I have to understand the match situation and as you these days there are a lot of talks regarding match-ups like some can hit well against spinners while some can do it against pace. My strength lies in scoring runs against pace bowlers and if you see the statistics you will find this( I am scoring runs against pacers) and as a finisher all these things go around in my mind. If someone does well as a bowler I give him respect and wait for the next bowler to come and when he comes I try to bat freely. If you see the field placement you can understand what is going to happen and I prepare myself accordingly and later try to hit the ball through its line.    

How do you keep the faith that you can score 15 to 20 runs in an over?

You need to have that trust. If the match-up goes as per your liking in that case you have to have the faith that you can score 15 to 20 runs and I target that specific bowler. There are times when the bowlers will have a good day and at that point I just see him off and try to hit other bowlers.

How do you take the match deep?

In Bangladesh conditions the deeper you take the game the better because if you lose too many wickets in that case in the death overs you will find it hard and will be in pressure so if you have wickets in hand you can play freely at the end of the game.


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