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Friday Feb 26 2021
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PSL 2021: Ben Cutting hopeful Quetta Gadiators will bounce back

Australian all-rounder Ben Cutting

KARACHI: Quetta Gladiators’ Australian all-rounder Ben Cutting has admitted that his team couldn’t get the start it wanted in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) but hoped for a better show in remainders of the tournament.

Talking to Geo News, he also praised his teammate Azam Khan and termed him an exciting prospect who can be a daunting prospect for bowlers.

“Not the best start but it is a long tournament and anything can happen, 10 games in a season so look it's one of those things only and if you look at all the games so far I think every game has been won by the team chasing so the toss does come down to it quite largely,” he said about Quetta’s start in the tournament.

The champions of the 2019 season were beaten by Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars earlier. While they struggled with the bat in the tournament opener against Kings, their bowling was a let down and failed to defend 178.

“To be fair, we've had two games. We didn't get enough runs in one game and then in game two we probably weren't great with the ball. So, it's it is neither here nor there. It's probably a bit of both,” he said when asked what are the areas that Gladiators need to improve.

Read more: Zahid Mehmood credits Ramzan tournaments for growth; eyes win for Gladiators in PSL

“A little bit of dew tends to come in for the second innings every night that we've played so far so that does help the team batting second and the boundaries are so small being 60-65 meters you don't really need to hit the ball hard at all to get over the rope. So, we're just going to find a way to defend well with the ball and put tall score when we bat,” he expressed.

‘PSL among top leagues’

Terming the PSL among the top two leagues along with IPL, the 34-year-old Australian cricketer said that they are probably the two biggest ones in the world at the moment as far as the standard is concerned.

“PSL is so strong because every team has three or four bowlers who bowl at about 140 to 150 kilometres an hour. The wickets are so good for the batters. Yeah, it's tough for the bowlers as well in the grounds which makes it exciting,” said Ben Cutting who has represented Australia in 4 ODIs and 7 T20Is.

Azam Khan exciting prospect

Replying to a question, he praised young batsman Azam Khan.

“He is exciting, isn't he?” he responded when this correspondent asked Ben Cutting on his views about the young Pakistani batsman.

Read more: Lahore Qalandars 'very confident' to lift PSL's trophy, says Samit Patel

“You always know what he's going to bring to the table when he walks out to bat. He's not going to muck around, he's going to take the game on and hit the ball hard. If you're a bowler that's a daunting prospect knowing that any day can be Azam’s day and he can take any bowler down,” he said about the Gladiators’ hard-hitting batsman.

'Security no issue in Pakistan'

The Australian, who is currently on his third visit to Pakistan, said that he was never worried about the security in Pakistan and arrangements here have been fantastic.

“This is my third trip now to Pakistan and security is certainly not something that I'm worried about at all in any of the trips that I've come here. And I think I was more worried about COVID this time rather than security because it was just sort of getting started. But I didn't hesitate to come back again this year. I'm thoroughly excited to hopefully come back in more years to come. The security has been fantastic as it has been every year I’ve been here and beyond. I think that's paving the way for international cricket to come back,” he said about security in the country.

Read more: PSL 2021 to now be held with 50% attendees after NCOC's nod

Bio-secure bubble

Talking about life in bio-secure bubbles due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian cricketer said that this trend of bio-secure bubble is “certainly not sustainable for a longer period of time”.

“I think it comes back to mental health. It is very difficult to spend day in, day out in your hotel room without any contact with the outside world, no social contact, no exercise, so it certainly does play on your mind, it does get to you but you do what you can. We don't get to play cricket forever, so you try and you make the sacrifices when you get the opportunities,” the Australian cricketer said.

'Vivian Richards keeping a close eye'

He added that the team’s mentor Sir Vivian Richards sent players a video before the first game from his home back in the West Indies.

“We know that he's watching. He's not here physically but he's certainly keeping a close eye on and so I'm sure he'll send a few more videos to the Quetta team as the tournament goes on,” he said.

Sharing his thoughts on the ability of power hitting, Ben Cutting disagreed with the observation of South African David Wiese – who had suggested playing golf to practice power hitting.

“I think the golf swing is very different to a cricket swing. Power is something that is not necessarily a golfing thing or another sporting thing, it is just repetition of over the years of learning your technique inside and out whether that's playing in the backyard or playing at home, playing in the school grounds and getting that timing perfect,” he said.

“A lot of that power comes from timing, rather than brute force,” he concluded.