Friday, December 01, 2023
Pakistan's fast bowler Hasan Ali said that the Green Shirts will remain cautious of Australian batter Usman Khawaja during the upcoming Test series and refrain from having discussions in Urdu in front of him.
The pacer revealed that Usman — who was born in Islamabad and is familiar with Urdu — leaked their team's strategy to the Aussies during the last Benaud-Qadir Trophy.
"Usman bhai is familiar with Urdu," Hasan told Cricket Australia in an interview ahead of the three-Test series starting December 14. The Pakistan squad has reached Canberra where the team will play a 4-day match against Australia PM XI.
"After he leaked our strategies to the Australia cricket team in Karachi, we've become more cautious. We'll ensure not to discuss plans in Urdu in front of him to keep our strategies confidential. We'll move a bit farther away from him to strategize for the game."
Shedding light on the upcoming challenges his team faces during the highly anticipated tour to Australia, Ali said that bouncy tracks make it a formidable Test for the Pakistani team.
"It's not just Pakistan, all South Asian teams find it challenging to take 20 wickets on Australian tours. The pitches in Australia differ from those in other cricketing nations, and the local players' familiarity with their conditions often poses problems for visiting squads," said the pacer.
Expressing his admiration for Australia men's cricket team Captain Pat Cummins — who led his team to victory in the ICC World Cup 2023 against India — Ali highlighted the Australian captain as the standout bowler in the current squad.
"Pat Cummins stands out as the best bowler. His excellence in all three formats is commendable. Both Shaheen Afridi from Pakistan and Pat Cummins from Australia are skillful bowlers who understand the art of bowling with new and semi-new balls."
Ali also reacted to the support from Australian cricket fans and shared his experiences from his 2016 visit.
"Australian cricket fans love watching cricket and have been supportive of Pakistan. The recent ICC Men's T20 World Cup held in Australia saw tremendous support for Pakistan, except for the India game."
Hasan expressed optimism about fans turning out to watch cricketing greats during the Australia vs Pakistan series, especially on Boxing Day, a traditional holiday. "I believe fans will turn out to watch cricketing greats like Steve Smith, David Warner, Shaheen Afridi, and Babar Azam and support the spirit of good cricket."
Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi
Four-day match: PM’s XI vs Pakistan – December 6-9: Manuka Oval, Canberra
1st Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 14-18: Perth Stadium
2nd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 26-30: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
3rd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – January 3-7: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)