Shoaib Malik is one of the vital cogs in the Barbados Tridents batting line-up © Getty Images
Shoaib Malik has been in very good form for the Barbados Tridents and has been one of their key performers in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2014. As Barbados prepare for the final, Nishad Pai Vaidya caught up with Malik and spoke to him about the tournament, the upcoming final, his batting and a lot more.
Shoaib Malik has had a very good time at the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2014. He has played a crucial role in Barbados Tridents’ march into the final and is looking forward to the big game against the Guyana Amazon Warriors. In nine matches, he has scored 351 runs at an average of 43.97 with three fifties. Along with Dwayne Smith and Kieron Pollard, Malik has been one of the key performers for Barbados this year. Malik has thus had a second successive successful season in the CPL.
In a chat with CricketCountry, Malik spoke about the CPL, Barbados’ mood before the final, his injury and batting form.
CricketCountry (CC): You have done well in both editions of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). What has worked in your favour in the West Indies?
Shoaib Malik (SM): Whenever you enjoy your sport, you perform. I would say not just here, but even in England where I was playing, I did well. For both the seasons here, we’ve had the same bunch of players, captain, support staff. So, it feels as if I have played for this team for the past few years.
CC: This season, you have scored 351 runs in nine matches. How much has batting at No 3 helped you?
SM: Actually, I always wanted to bat up the order. The good thing here is that the coach and captain speak to me and wherever I feel like batting, they send me. It is good to know where you are comfortable batting and when you play — it gives me confidence. I am getting enough opportunities up the order and that is why I have performed well.
CC: You have played a lot of T20 cricket around the world. Playing in Australia, England and now West Indies; how have you coped up with that challenge?
SM: I have played a lot of cricket in England and Australia as well. I had the experience of playing there and that is why it helped me. As a professional player, I try to go to the country where the tournament is being hosted about 10-12 days before it starts. That is so that I can adjust myself to the conditions. I have had a long career and that helps me as I have played almost all over the world. That is why, I don’t feel I face difficulties in adjusting.
CC: Not conditions alone, but adjusting to different setups and cultures, is that a challenge?
SM: When we play international cricket, we travel to different countries and we adapt to those cultures. But, as a professional cricketer, your first priority is to be at practice sessions on time or whatever commitments are there. Cricket is my passion and is my first priority. Whenever my teammates or support staff need me, I try to be there. It is not really that difficult.
CC: In terms of bowling, have you made any adjustments to your style?
SM: Yes, I used to bowl the doosra. But after my collar bone was fractured and I had an elbow surgery, I stopped bowling that ball. However, I have been working on my shoulder and my right arm. So, I have yet again started working on the doosra. Hopefully, I bowl it in the games soon.
CC: What is the mood in the Barbados Tridents camp as you will play your first final in the CPL?
SM: We did well even last year. This year too we have been good and are in the final. All teams were working hard to get there. Now, we have only four hours of game-time left and we are looking forward to it. Hopefully we continue to play the way we played during the last two games. The morale is high and we are going to give our best. Rest, we don’t know what is going to happen.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)