Young Attock-born Haider aims to light up ACC U19 Asia Cup

With the ACC U19 Asia Cup 2019 around the corner, Pakistan opener Haider Ali is aiming better his scoring rate, while developing the art of crafting a longer innings. This, the Attock-born, believes will not only help him evolve into a reliable batsman, but also help the Pakistan side in putting big scores on the scoreboard.

The 18-year-old had this realisation during Pakistan’s tour of Sri Lanka in June – where he failed to convert his fifties into centuries. This by no means is to say that the right-handed batsman had a poor outing, his 214 runs – which included his best score of 93 not out – at an average of 53.50 was the third best of the series.

“Once an opener gets out early, the whole team gets under pressure,” said Haider. “The experience of working with the coaches at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and the U19 team has helped me in learning this art of prolonging stay at the wicket which reflected in my performances inthe Sri Lanka and South Africa tours.

The confidence gained by spending time at the crease in Sri Lanka helped the youngster during Pakistan’s tour of South Africa, which followed immediately, as he broke into three figures in the third of the seven one-dayers at Pietermaritzburg, scoring a 111-ball 116.

He was the third highest run getter in the series with 317 runs, which also included two fifties.

The preparations for the tour had commenced with advise from the coaches and keen video viewing of how the top international batsmen crafted their big innings. “I have observed how the greats of the game score fifties, and go on to convert them into centuries.”

The 19-year-old believes Pakistan can win the upcoming ACC U19 Asia Cup 2019 with meticulous planning and hard work that is being done in the ongoing high performance camp at the NCA in Lahore.

“The ongoing Pakistan U19 camp at the National Cricket Academy focuses on players’ fitness, nutrition, fielding and other departments. I am hopeful the Pakistan U19 team would perform well in the Asia Cup 2019 and the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2020.”

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