Lahore: Imad Wasim, the Pakistan all-rounder, said the expectation of him to perform several roles for the team is a matter of pride and a reflection of his ability.
Since his comeback to Pakistan’s ODI setup in November last year, Wasim has grown leaps and bounds as a batsman. His bowling numbers haven’t been quite as good, but that, he believes, is because his role is that of containing batsmen rather than attacking.
“If I am asked to bowl the last over, I have to. If I am asked to bowl with the new ball, then I have to.”
Imad Wasim sees his flexible role in Pakistan’s side as an “honour”.
— ICC (@ICC) April 21, 2019
He is seen as so important to Pakistan’s hopes at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, that Inzamam-ul-Haq, the chief selector, admitted the management had made an exception to include him in the 15-man squad despite him failing a fitness test.
In 11 games since making his comeback against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi, Wasim has scored 281 runs from eight knocks at an average of 93.66, while striking at 116.59. He claimed just five wickets at 91.60 in those matches, but an economy rate of 4.97 suggests he’s able to apply brakes on the opposition.
Wasim said his main goal is to adapt to the various requirements of the team. “My role keeps on changing with the situation of the match,” he said. “I have to get wickets when I bowl with the new ball. When I am using an older ball, I have to contain too, along with taking wickets.
“Of course, I have some personal goals. But, I put them aside for the team goals. If I am asked to bowl the last over, I have to. If I am asked to bowl with the new ball, then I have to.
“It is an honour if a team gives you these many roles. A player should have the capability to adjusting to new roles. One day I have to contain, the other I have to pick wickets. I feel lucky that I have that ability because of which I can try to fit myself in many roles.”
Wasim’s all-round abilities have raised his stock, so much that he has had to downplay comparisons with accomplished Pakistani all-rounders of the past. “It depends on what my team asks of me,” he said.
“I shouldn’t be compared with Shahid [Afridi] bhai or [Abdul] Razzaq bhai. Those guys are legends, which is underscored by a mere look at their records. No guy can just come and be like them.”
Wasim acknowledged the team was working hard on addressing those problem areas ahead of the World Cup.
“I agree [that Pakistan are falling behind the other teams] and I personally believe in having aggression in strategy,” he said. “I want that we get wickets when we bowl and score runs when we bat. This is the centre of discussion in the ongoing camp and we will play aggressive cricket in the World Cup.”