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Bilal Asif feels happy and focusing in future after his debutant Test match performance
By Sandy - Oct 10, 2018 7:01 pm
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The 33-year-old Pakistan off-spinner Bilal Asif is feeling happy after his impressive performance in the first innings of his debutant Test match, where he bagged six wickets for 36 runs.

Bilal Asif

In the ongoing first Test of two-match Test series between Pakistan and Australia in Dubai, Asif made his Test debut and achieved a memorable bowling figure of 21.3-7-36-6 during Australia’s first innings that helped to bundle out their opponents for just 202 runs, in the reply of Pakistan 482-run first innings total.

Bilal Asif

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Asif made his international cricket debut in 2015 through ODI and played only three ODIs in that year, before appearing in this Test match, which is his return to the international arena after almost three years.

At the end of the day three’s play, Asif said, “I’ve been struggling for the last few years. I made my debut in 2015 against Zimbabwe and, after that, and I’ve made my debut in Tests after three years. So it’s been a long time. I’m working hard at the NCA (National Cricket Academy) and the guys are working very well with me. But I’m here now, I’m happy. Feeling really happy. I have picked up six wickets in the first innings, now I will try to make this as good a debut as I can and keep contributing to Pakistan’s cause.”

Talking about his return to the international cricket, Asif credited the crucial support of former Pakistan leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed as Asif worked with him at the NCA camp.

Mushtaq Ahmed

Asif said, “I was at the NCA camp where I worked with Mushy bhai. I need to really thank him for the work he did with me. I have been working with him in the last three years. I got the reward today – credit goes to Mushy bhai who has always supported me on and off the field.”

As playing the domestic cricket in Pakistan for a long time, Asif has a good idea about the pitches and while he felt that the present pitch is suitable for the spinners, he worked according to the situation that led him for success.

Asif said, “I have been bowling a long time, bowling in first-class and one-day cricket in Pakistan, so you have an idea of what to do on what sort of pitches, what help you can get. So you look at the wicket, and you know that the wickets in the UAE suit the spinners more, so I tried to vary my pace a little bit. Thanks to the almighty, the result was good.”

Making his Test debut, Asif was feeling pressure at the initial stage. But getting the support from the other team members, the off-spinner got confidence.

He said, “Making your debut, there is a pressure. In the first session, I couldn’t bowl well, I wasn’t feeling fell. So my teammates supported me a lot and they gave me confidence that you can do it.”

On the other hand, in the same innings, the experienced Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah went wicketless as his bowling figure was 28-6-80-0.

Yasir Shah

Talking about that, Asif said, “See this is a team game. He is a world-class bowler. I think I was also a bit lucky today that I got so many wickets.”