"If the ball is there to be hit and in my zone, I will go for it" : Sharjeel Khan


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  1. #1
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    "If the ball is there to be hit and in my zone, I will go for it" : Sharjeel Khan

    The 2016 World Twenty20 is one that most Pakistan fans will want to forget in a hurry. The team's dismal performance and inability to respond to the aggressive modern day requirements of the shortest format resulted in a humiliating first round exit following defeats to India, New Zealand and Australia, with their solitary victory coming against Bangladesh.

    One of the few shining lights for Pakistan was Sharjeel Khan, the aggressive left-handed opener who helped get his side off to a flyer on a regular basis, with his innings of 47 off 25 balls against New Zealand a particular highlight. He finished the tournament as Pakistan's leading run-scorer with 112 runs from four innings, hitting eighteen fours and three sixes in the process. This was not long after he became the first player to hit a century in the Pakistan Super League where he proved his credentials for the shortest format by helping Islamabad United to the title.

    With the aggressive methods of Twenty20 cricket now trickling through to ODIs and Tests, Sharjeel Khan could be a vital component of the Pakistan side in the coming years. Currently touring England with the Pakistan A side, the 26-year-old batsman spoke exclusively to PakPassion.net about his performance at the World Twenty20, his aspirations to play the longer form of the game, and the success of the Pakistan Super League.





    PakPassion.net : How was the experience of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), particularly working with the likes of Dean Jones and Wasim Akram, as well as the captain Misbah-ul-Haq?

    Sharjeel Khan : Everyone was so excited that we finally had our own franchise Twenty20 tournament after it had been talked about for so many years. We were all getting very impatient and were wondering if it would ever even happen! Thankfully the first edition proved to be so successful as everyone saw and I was fortunate to be part of the winning team and to score the first ever century in the tournament. I’m sure future editions will be just as popular as it was a wonderful experience for Pakistani players to be around so many foreign players from all over the world. I also feel it was no less than any of the other Twenty20 tournaments around the world as we had reasonably big crowds, outstanding international venues and plenty of star players. If any of our players make the step up from the PSL to international cricket, it will no longer feel completely alien to them as the PSL was of such a high quality.

    It was my first experience with Dean Jones and it was amazing. I learnt a lot from him, particularly about the mental aspect of the game and he regularly gave us useful advice to help our game. Wasim Akram also made a huge impact, as you would expect from someone with his experience. So Dean Jones and Wasim Akram really helped to create a nice family environment within the Islamabad United team even though we had a bad start to the tournament and lost several matches. But the positive environment remained the same from the first match to the last, and even when we lost a match we were never made to feel like we had lost. Misbah also played a huge role in this as he’s such a cool, calm person. He handles everyone very well and helps maintain an excellent atmosphere in the team.


    PakPassion.net : Tell us about your experience of being selected for, and then playing in the World Twenty20, particularly given that your name wasn’t initially included in the squad?

    Sharjeel Khan : That’s right, I wasn’t initially selected for the World Twenty20 or for the Asia Cup which preceded it. Around the time of the selection, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) was taking place and we had a big semi-final against Peshawar Zalmi. I was Man of the Match in that game and scored the first century of the PSL which was a historic moment and a great feeling for me. Shortly after that Babar Azam, who was initially named in the Asia Cup and World Twenty20 squads, was withdrawn due to injury and I was fortunate enough to be named as his replacement. I was part of the squad for the previous World Twenty20 in Bangladesh but didn’t get a chance to play so the experience in India was amazing for me. I really enjoyed the tournament and we got a fantastic reception from the Indian public.


    PakPassion.net : You were one of the stars for Pakistan in the World Twenty20. What are your thoughts on your own personal performance and did you feel any added pressure to get the team off to a good start given the indifferent form of the other batsmen?

    Sharjeel Khan : I was very pleased with how I performed in India, particularly given it was such a big event and I managed to be Pakistan’s leading run-scorer in the four matches we played. Unfortunately we weren’t able to progress beyond the group stage but I gained a lot of confidence from the way I played in such a high pressure tournament at the highest level. I learnt a lot about Twenty20 cricket and it was also my first experience of playing against New Zealand and Australia which I really enjoyed. There is a lot that can be gained from playing against the best sides in the world so it was a fantastic learning curve for me.

    When I made my comeback I knew that I had a reputation for being aggressive and hitting boundaries, particularly given my recent century in the PSL. It’s my natural game so I didn’t feel any added pressure to score quickly. My main aim was just to perform to the best of my ability for Pakistan as I knew it would help further my international career.


    PakPassion.net : Coming on to the current Pakistan A tour of England, what are your personal targets over the coming weeks?

    Sharjeel Khan : It’s an excellent opportunity for all the players selected for this tour and a really good chance to learn how to play in these conditions and improve the technical aspects of our cricket. We have three 4-day and five One-Day games and the players will really need to concentrate and put in some good performances. Simply put, if you perform well on this type of tour then you can definitely break into the senior team. Obviously, the initial target is for the A team to win the matches we have scheduled here and obviously as one of the more senior players here I want to help the youngsters and ensure they also learn as much as they can from this experience. This will only benefit Pakistan cricket in the long run.


    PakPassion.net : Many see you as a specialist Twenty20/One-Day player. Do you see a role for yourself in the Test side?

    Sharjeel Khan : Yes, I do. I have a good First-Class record, averaging over 37 from 71 matches with eleven centuries and nineteen fifties. So it’s definitely one of my targets to become a Test player for Pakistan but before that I want to focus on the present and perform well in these 4-day matches for Pakistan A. The main thing is for me to serve my country in whatever way possible and in any format. Ultimately it’s all about performance and doing the best for my country.


    PakPassion.net : Would you maintain the same sort of batting style if you were to be selected in the longer formats?

    Sharjeel Khan : Obviously in Twenty20s and One-Days it is necessary to play your shots as soon as you get in and without too much regard for the opposition bowling or field settings. In 4-day games you have more attacking fields so you have to be a bit more careful and take your time but it’s important that I stay true to myself and remain positive. If the ball is there to be hit and in my zone, I will go for it, but if it’s a good ball I will show it the appropriate respect.


    PakPassion.net : Is there more attention being placed on fitness and fielding nowadays?

    Sharjeel Khan : Absolutely. We recently had the training camp in Kakul which was excellent for us. We also have several extra fielding sessions nowadays and Pakistan’s fielding in the Asia Cup and World Twenty20 was also very good. Day by day we’re working hard on this area and gradually we are seeing improvements. I’m certainly seeing an improvement in my own fitness and fielding and I’m sure the same will be said for all Pakistani players in the future.


    PakPassion.net : With the riches available in Twenty20 cricket, is the interest in Test cricket dwindling among young cricketers in Pakistan?

    Sharjeel Khan : I wouldn’t say that there is any less focus on Test cricket. One always looks at the upcoming schedule of matches and how many matches of each format are to be played in the next year. Pakistan, and most other teams, tend to play a lot more ODI and T20I cricket as compared to Tests. If you knew you were going to play twenty-five Tests in a year then you would naturally prepare accordingly. It’s difficult to focus on and prepare for Test cricket as much when you might only play six or seven a year.
    Last edited by MenInG; 1st July 2016 at 19:18.



  2. #2
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    Good attitude, he should play aggressively in the longer format.

  3. #3
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    That "zone" has to increase from half volleys pitched at the off stump though.


    Azaadi. InshAllah.

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    I like his mentality but he needs to improve his game outside of the offstump

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    Shouldve also asked him about his weakness aka playing spin!

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    It just goes to show how much far behind Pakistan is in limited overs that even 3 months after T20 World Cup they are still talking about a 47 run innings off 25 balls.. It was a good innings but these sort of innings are normal in T20s if it was a 80 off 40 ball of 100 off 50 balls type innings I could understand, but 47 run knock people still talking about it just shows the lack of depth in Pakistan LOI team..

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    I like his mentality but he needs to improve his game outside of the offstump
    He should learn to reverse sweep fast bowlers, this will make his off side game easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Last Of The Stars View Post
    He should learn to reverse sweep fast bowlers, this will make his off side game easy.
    Nah he should learn to hit balls through the offside more rather than just relaying on legside shots. There's no need for him to reverse sweep when he such good hand eye cordination

  10. #9
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    His onslaught against New Zealand will live long in the memory.

    Thank you to Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal for mucking it up by constructing the worst partnership in the history of the format.

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    Very good interview. Good to know that he cares about his fitness.

    Hope he will perform good so we may see him in Pakistan national squad against England.


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    Sharjeel Khan to stick to wham-bam batting style

    Pakistan left-hand blistering opener Sharjeel Khan thinks staying true to his natural batting style will help him develop his repute as an attacking batsman.

    “Obviously in T20Is and ODIs it is necessary to play your shots as soon as you get in and without too much regard for the opposition bowling or field settings,” he said. “In a four-day game you have more attacking fields so you have to be a bit more careful and take your time but it’s important that I stay true to myself and remain positive. If the ball is there to be hit and in my zone then I will go for it, but if it is a good ball I will show it the appropriate respect.”

    The 26-year-old is confident he can make it into the longest format. “I have a good first-class record, averaging over 37 from 71 matches with eleven centuries and nineteen fifties. So it’s definitely one of my targets to become a Test player for Pakistan but before that I want to focus on the present and perform well in these four-day matches for Pakistan A.”

    Sharjeel also clarified that all his prime focus and energy is targeted towards performing for his country. “The main thing is for me to serve my country in whatever way possible and in any format. Ultimately it’s all about performance and doing the best for my country,” said Sharjeel.

    Sharjeel, who has been criticised time and again for his physique, also commented on the fitness camp which was organised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) at the Army School of Physical Training, Kakul saying it has benefitted him and a number of other cricketers.

    “We recently had the training camp in Kakul which was excellent for us,” he said. “We also have several extra fielding sessions nowadays and Pakistan’s fielding in the Asia Cup and World Twenty20 was also very good. Day by day we’re working hard on this area and gradually we are seeing improvements. I’m certainly seeing an improvement in my own fitness and fielding and I’m sure the same will be said for all Pakistani players in the future.”

    Sharjeel was Pakistan’s stand-out performer with the bat during the dismal 2016 World Cup campaign. He scored 112 runs in four matches courtesy 18 boundaries and three maximums and he is very pleased that he could prove his mettle after being selected for the event at the last moment.

    “I was very pleased with how I performed in India, particularly given it was such a big event and I managed to be Pakistan’s leading run-scorer in the four matches we played,” said Sharjeel. “Unfortunately we weren’t able to progress beyond the group stage but I gained a lot of confidence from the way I played in such a high pressure tournament at the highest level.

    “I learnt a lot about Twenty20 cricket and it was also my first experience of playing against New Zealand and Australia which I really enjoyed. There is a lot that can be gained from playing against the best sides in the world so it was a fantastic learning curve for me.”

    Sharjeel Khan was interviewed by PakPassion.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/1134173/...batting-style/


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  13. #12
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    "If the ball is there to be hit and in my zone, I will go for it" : Sharjeel Khan
    This defines Sharjeel Khan. The finest leg side hack we have. Bowl towards the off side and he would snick to the slips. Dont think he would find much success in the English tour.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowKiiSavage View Post
    This defines Sharjeel Khan. The finest leg side hack we have. Bowl towards the off side and he would snick to the slips. Dont think he would find much success in the English tour.
    Agreed. Shehzad should've been there.


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  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Destroyer View Post
    Agreed. Shehzad should've been there.
    Dont think shehzad would have set the world on fire either. There are many misfits in the LOI team. Azhar Ali our own captain to begin with.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Destroyer View Post
    Agreed. Shehzad should've been there.
    We all saw Shehzads worth in the 2015 world cup, T20 world cup and New Zealand series. Id take Sharjeel over him any day. But I presume you were being sarcastic.


    Hard to get a handle on this double edged sword

  17. #16
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    Sehwag used to say this.

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ab Fan View Post
    Sehwag used to say this.
    sehwag said it with good off side game up his sleeve.

  19. #18
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    He can be Sehwag or Brendon for Pakistan in test cricket

  20. #19
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    Karachi - Opening batsman Sharjeel Khan is keen to put up good performances for Pakistan A in their ongoing tour of England in order to stake a claim for a Test berth.

    Khan, who made his for Pakistan in December 2013, has so far played 11 One-Day Internationals and as many Twenty20 Internationals, hitting a fifty in each format.

    However, Khan has failed to cement his place in the Pakistan side and he wants to use the Pakistan A tour as an opportunity to impress the selectors.

    “It’s an excellent opportunity for all the players selected for this tour and a really good chance to learn how to play in these conditions and improve the technical aspects of our cricket,” Khan told PakPassion.net.

    “We have three 4-day and five One-Day games and the players will really need to concentrate and put in some good performances.
    Simply put, if you perform well on this type of tour then you can definitely break into the senior team,” he said.

    “Obviously, the initial target is for the A team to win the matches we have scheduled here and obviously as one of the more senior players here I want to help the youngsters and ensure they also learn as much as they can from this experience."

    “This will only benefit Pakistan cricket in the long run,” he added.

    In first-class cricket, Khan has played 71 games and has scored 4542 runs at an average of 37.53 while he has 2473 runs from 67 List A games.

    Citing his first-class record, Khan said that his target was to establish himself as a key member of the Pakistan Test side.

    “Yes, I do. I have a good First-Class record, averaging over 37 from 71 matches with eleven centuries and nineteen fifties."

    “So it’s definitely one of my targets to become a Test player for Pakistan but before that I want to focus on the present and perform well in these 4-day matches for Pakistan A. The main thing is for me to serve my country in whatever way possible and in any format. Ultimately it’s all about performance and doing the best for my country,” he said.

    In his career, Sharjeel has carved a name for himself as a batsman, who does not shy away from playing his shots.

    Though the 26-year-old believes that he needs to slightly tweak his batting in order to flourish in Test cricket, he asserted that he will always bat positively.

    “Obviously in Twenty20s and One-Days it is necessary to play your shots as soon as you get in and without too much regard for the opposition bowling or field settings.

    “In 4-day games you have more attacking fields so you have to be a bit more careful and take your time but it’s important that I stay true to myself and remain positive. If the ball is there to be hit and in my zone then I will go for it, but if it’s a good ball I will show it the appropriate respect,” he added.

    In their ongoing tour of England, Pakistan A are scheduled to play matches against Sri Lanka A, Glamorgan and England Lions.

    In their first match on the tour, Pakistan A faced off against Yorkshire but the four-day game ended in a draw as no play was possible on the final day due to rain.
    http://nation.com.pk/sports/03-Jul-2...into-test-side

  21. #20
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    To say he's having a nightmare tour would be an understatement.

    Horrible form it seems.




  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    To say he's having a nightmare tour would be an understatement.

    Horrible form it seems.
    Has he played any level of cricket in the UK before?

  23. #22
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    Sharjeel will be out of pak a team after this tour, and he should be nowhere near the team in future



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    Why don't you guys get it? He is a legside slogger. Anything on the middle and he will be destructive, but once the bowler gets him he is an easy wicket.

    Ideal for T20 though. In this format you have nothing to lose.


    "You aren't a failure if you fail, you are a failure if you don't get up to try again" - Imran Khan.

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    To say he's having a nightmare tour would be an understatement.

    Horrible form it seems.
    Any intelligent bowler or coaching team will figure him out. Anything outside offstump and he gifts away his wicket.


    He can be destructive though if he learns to ignore everything on off or outside off. Gayle is a good example as a couple of dot balls do not bother him.

    Unfortunately at 27/28 his offside game isn't improving. So at max he will be useful in T20's. A legside hack he will remain.
    Last edited by Prince of Pakistan; 16th July 2016 at 01:21.


    "You aren't a failure if you fail, you are a failure if you don't get up to try again" - Imran Khan.

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    So most players will try to ensure that they don't bowl in 'your' zone, you numpty

  27. #26
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    Make him "captain" in T20s.

    I have started to doubt his place even in the T20s team. Have not played one good knock since that PSL inning.

    Just not good enough for international Cricket, can try his luck in T20 leagues.

  28. #27
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    A healthier version of Awais Zia.

    Now the question is who is the aggressive opener that we need in ODIs to partner Azhar.

    Since we need someone aggressive, it rules out the likes of Sami and Butt.

    People won't like it but Khurram Manzoor is next in line.

    He looked dire on green Asia Cup wickets, but he can play shots on flat wickets. Will probably be selected based on his Pakistan Cup exploits.

  29. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    A healthier version of Awais Zia.

    Now the question is who is the aggressive opener that we need in ODIs to partner Azhar.

    Since we need someone aggressive, it rules out the likes of Sami and Butt.

    People won't like it but Khurram Manzoor is next in line.

    He looked dire on green Asia Cup wickets, but he can play shots on flat wickets. Will probably be selected based on his Pakistan Cup exploits.
    They can even try Khalid Latif. Looks to be in good form and can score a run a ball century in top order.

  30. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Odd_One View Post
    They can even try Khalid Latif. Looks to be in good form and can score a run a ball century in top order.
    I forgot about him. I like him, he is an underrated player.

    Looked good to me in the PSL as well as vs Australia in the WT20.

    Since there is no room in the middle-order with Hafeez, Babar, Malik and Sarfraz occupying the positions, he will have to open with Azhar.

  31. #30
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    Leg slide slogger who can't even hit to the leg side when there is a change in pace of the delivery


    "Beware of this world, for it is sweet and tempting.

  32. #31
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    MashAllah, he is playing an amazing knock today. Not like a hack, he is playing carefully. Took a cautious start and now shifting his gears.


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  33. #32
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    Sharjeel should be encouraged to play his natural game.

    Bring him in for Australia test series.

  34. #33
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    Keep feeding him confidence. That's all he needs. Such a gifted striker of the ball mashaAllah.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.

  35. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finisher View Post
    Sharjeel should be encouraged to play his natural game.

    Bring him in for Australia test series.
    Wonderful suggestion.

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