As Pakistan look to seal their spot in the DP World T20 Asia Cup final with a second straight victory in the Super Four, bowling coach Shaun Tait reveals he gets goosebumps watching the team’s exciting young fast bowlers in action.
Pakistan will lock horns with Afghanistan at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the Super Four on Wednesday, having beaten bitter rivals India by five wickets in Dubai on Sunday.
The Babar Azam-led team will once again look up to their bowling attack which has coped well with the absence of injured pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi in the Asia Cup.
And Tait, the former Australian tearaway fast bowler, says it’s an amazing experience for him to see the likes of Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain and Haris Rauf bowl with fiery pace.
“I do see myself in our bowlers, and I am sure plenty of other ex-bowlers will say the same thing you know,” Tait said in a video released by the Asia Cup organisers.
“When Naseem is running in and the crowd is cheering and there is a play and miss or even a boundary, whatever, the roar of the crowd, is just phenomenal.
“Obviously as a bowling coach, you want them to do well so badly. Probably I am doing the right job, if you are getting goosebumps watching the guys bowl, then it’s a positive news.”
Tait says he is happy with the progress made by the young fast bowlers since he joined the Pakistan team as a bowling coach in March this year.
“Yeah, I am happy, that for sure. At the end of the day, it’s not really about how I am feeling, it’s about the captain and the players. You want your players to feel happy,” he said.
“When things don’t go your way, it can be miserable 24 hours after a game, you might be embarrassed and feeling down about performances. So when it goes well, you have to enjoy those moments.”
The team’s injury management programme and getting the next crop of Pakistani fast bowlers ready will be the main target of Tait, who played three matches, 35 ODIs and 21 T20Is for Australia in his career riddled with injury issues.
“There is no good blaming anybody. But in cricket there are injuries that are going to occur. The intensity that our fast bowlers go at, there is bound to be some injuries at some stage,” he said referring to injuries suffered by Afridi and Shahnawaz Dahani.
“But they are also young. So when you are a young cricketer coming into international cricket, there is a good chance you are going to get injured because your workload goes up and the pressure goes up and you can get a few niggles.
“So probably the most important part of my job is to get the next guys ready, so the other two-three fast bowlers that are not playing, especially the younger guys that haven’t played much, get them ready to play against India, against Australia, against England, whoever might be. Players that can deal with the pressure.”
Meanwhile, Hasnain is likely to keep his place in the playing XI against Afghanistan as Dahani is continuing his recovery from a side strain that ruled him out of the Super Four clash against India.
Barring Rauf’s brilliant last over, the Pakistani pace attack was a tad expensive against India. But they are unlikely to be challenged by the relatively inexperienced Afghanistan team on Wednesday.
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