Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan big-hitter Asif Ali has made it clear that he never once complained about being moved around the batting order.
While many batsmen have a specific position they like to bat at, Asif noted that he is happy to bat at any number as his main priority is to represent his country and help the team win matches.
Asif was picked for the ongoing three-match T20 series against South Africa, but didn’t feature in the first two games.
The 29-year-old was in good form in the lead-up to the series as he scored 398 runs in seven matches for Northern in the Pakistan Cup, which included a century and three fifties, at an average of 56.85 and a strike-rate of 141.13.
“No that isn’t true at all as I have always considered it an honour to have played for Pakistan. It didn’t matter at what position I batted as my only job was to serve my country,” Asif told PakPassion. “Never did it cross my mind to question or worry about my position in the batting order and my only concern was to do the best for my team.
“In fact, I cannot think of any player who would have a complaint like that when playing for his country. All decisions about batting positions are not just made at the drop of a hat but are clearly communicated to the player before the game so ample time is given for the player to plan his innings in advance.
“In my case, I knew I would bat in the last few overs and I would practice and prepare myself mentally according to that situation. One must also know that there is no such thing as a permanent place in any team, and you can be excluded if you do not perform well.
“Obviously, there is pressure when you make a comeback after a period of time and that is what happened in my case too. When I did make my comeback during the trip to England before the 2019 World Cup, I knew very well that I would be out of the side if I did not do well and unfortunately, that is what happened as my scores during the tournament weren’t that great.
“But since then, I have worked hard and am grateful to have been offered a chance for another comeback in the T20I series against South Africa.”
Asif hasn’t played international cricket since November 2019, but he could make his international comeback in the third T20 International against South Africa in Lahore on Sunday.
The series is currently tied at 1-1 after Pakistan won the first match by three runs and South Africa secured a six-wicket win in the second game.