Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan pace bowler Hasan Ali dedicated his maiden five-for in Test cricket to bowling coach Azhar Mahmood.
Hasan took career-best figures of 5-45 during New Zealand’s second innings in the first Test in Abu Dhabi, which Pakistan lost by four runs.
Hasan, who has claimed 19 wickets in five Tests at an average of 23.05, credited Mahmood for his five-for and delved deeper into just how much of an impact the 43-year-old has had.
“All thanks to Allah, getting a five-for for the first time in any format is a happy occasion. I needed such a performance and I am very happy about it,” he was quoted as saying by PakPassion. “We didn’t do anything differently, we kept a simple plan with Azhar bhai to bowl to a tight line which is what we did.
“I would like to dedicate this five-fer to our bowling coach Ajju bhai. When I came into the team, Azhar bhai was the bowling coach. All my performances and improvement are thanks to Ajju bhai working with me.
“During the Australia series, we would come to the ground at 5am and myself, Faheem [Ashraf] and Shadab [Khan] would bowl in the nets. He has a big hand to play in my bowling and I am sticking to his plans. The credit for my performances should definitely go to Azhar bhai.”
There have been concerns about Hasan’s lack of wickets as of late, especially in ODIs, but the 24-year-old pointed out that it is tough to consistently take three to five wickets in every game.
“Sometimes your body doesn’t react the way you want it to, you can’t pick up a five-for or a three-for in every match and the performances vary,” he said. “I kept working hard and I had bowled some long spells during the Australia series even when I wasn’t playing and that paid off for me in this match.”