Australian cricketer Ben Dunk feels that Australia’s tour to Pakistan is good for Test cricket and he is excited to see two strong teams playing each other.
In an exclusive interview to Geo News, the 34-year-old aggressive batter said that playing away from home will be a challenge for Australia.
Ben Dunk, who has represented Australia in five T20Is between 2014 and 2017, also hoped for wickets that supports a good test cricket encounter instead of flat tracks supporting only the batters. “I am a cricket lover and I think for the health of Test cricket around the world, not only in Pakistan, it’s important that some of the bigger test playing nations really do play series away from home. I am hopeful that the Australian cricket team certainly plays a part in that,” he said.
Read more: Full-strength Australia tour to benefit Pakistan, Fawad Ahmed says
“I am excited because it is going to be a great series from a spectating point of view, you have two very good teams that are going to play each other but I am more excited for the cricket itself and Test cricket to take a positive step forward in making sure that Test cricket is played around the world in as many countries as we possibly can,” he said.
“I have had some conversations with players but it’d be obviously different as well from a franchise tournament in terms of PSL as it will be for an international tournament. I assume that they will have a different set of circumstances in terms of their bubble and their ability to move and the ability to train and everything like that,” Dunk said —who continues to be with Lahore Qalandars in PSL.
Replying to a question, the star player said that the challenge for Australia would be of playing away from home but also highlighted that Pakistani players have also not played enough Test cricket on home soil and they’ll have this challenge in mind.
“The whole challenge of playing away from home is that the home team has an advantage. And, the challenge for Pakistan is they actually haven’t played much international cricket at home. So, you know, in terms of really getting to know their own conditions and everything like that, it’s been a little while.
Read more: David Willey terms Pakistan a ‘great place for cricket’
“However, I think it’s going to be a tremendous series in terms of bat versus ball. I hope that wickets are really conducive to good test cricket, I hope they’re not too flat and become too batter friendly,” he reiterated. “And if we see some of that I think we’re in for some entertaining cricket.” Shedding light on the players and their performance, he said that both teams are full of exciting talent, both with bat and ball. “I think if we can provide a surface that allows that challenge to be seen, I think we’re in for a real treat as cricket lovers,” the Australian cricketer said.
Dunk was initially picked as a partial replacement player for Phil Salt by Lahore Qalandars and was later retained as their power-hitting coach. The flamboyant batter said that he is enjoying his new role as he has always loved sharing his knowledge with fellow players.
Fakhar is batting the right way. He praised Qalandars’ opening batter, Fakhar Zaman, by saying that he is batting the way one should bat in T20 Cricket.
“Fakhar has been working very hard on his game. I think there are a number of reasons why he’s been more successful this year. One of the reasons why I think he is being a little bit more patient than he has been in the past is probably because he is not pre-meditating as much as he has in the past. “I think he’s playing the ball on merit and hitting the ball where it needs to go. What we’re seeing from Fakhar is just an absolute masterclass in how to bat in T20 Cricket It’s been amazing now to see some of that hard work really pay off,” he said. He added that Qalandars are doing the basics really well and that’s why they’ve been successful this season.
Challenges faced a Qalandar’s power-hitting coach Talking about the art of power-hitting, the Australian batter said that each player has a different ability to hit the ball but the fundamental is to have a solid base.
“I think for every player, it’s slightly different, to be honest. And that’s the challenge, as a coach it is hard to figure out for each player how to untap or how to unlock any sort of power that they’re not quite accessing. “For me, personally, it was all about having a stable base and transferring my weight really well. For other people, it’s about creating a bigger bat swing, it’s about finding the ground both on the front foot and the back foot.” Ben Dunk said. “Whenever you’re trying to hit something, if you’ve got a solid base to launch from, it certainly makes it a little bit easier,” he mentioned.
PSL has a ‘lot of fast bowling talent’
Replying to a question, Ben Dunk said that Pakistan’s depth of talent is really, really strong and PSL is certainly a league in which one has to play his best cricket to succeed. “I think it’s always been a league that’s had a lot of fast bowling talent. However, this year, to be honest, injury and unavailability have really hurt the depth of bowling in this league,” he lamented. Read more: Standard of cricket in PSL ‘off the charts’, says Peshawar Zalmi head coach James Foster
Dunk also praised the spectators in Pakistan and recalled how overwhelmed he was when he played in front of a full house in Lahore before COVID struck in 2020. “The people of Pakistan had been wonderful to me, I was fortunate enough to perform before COVID-19 and the crowds that were in Lahore for those few nights were exceptional and you know that there will be memories that I’ll keep and they’re very special memories that I’ll remember for a long period of time,” he said.
The Australian cricketer also hoped that players bubble life will end soon as this can’t be a sustainable thing for the long run anymore.
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