What will Haris Rauf’s bowling strategy be?

Pakistani pacesetter Haris Rauf. Photo: Photo: Provided by the author of this story.
  • Haris Rauf talks about his bowling strategy and goals in PSL 2022.
  • Says Shaheen Shah confided in players about the strategy to follow.
  • Says he is determined to pressure opposing batters in PSL games.

KARACHI: Pakistani pacesetter Haris Rauf, who performs in Lahore Qalandars in the seventh edition of the hi-octane Pakistan Super League (PSL), has said that the preparation for the tournament is in full swing and he wants to give his best and help the team that does well in the tournament.

“Our first goal as a team is to qualify for the playoffs, then reach the final and win the PSL trophy,” Rauf said in an exclusive interview with Geo-news.

He said that Qalandars captain Shaheen as the new captain has had a great interaction with the team members and talked to them about the strategy to follow.

Everyone on the team is eager to get the PSL started, he added.

The 28-year-old fast bowler spoke in detail about his bowling strategy, his journey, his future plans and his interaction with Indian cricketers on the sidelines of the T20 World Cup matches.

Haris had emerged from Lahore Qalandars’ player development program and quickly gained everyone’s attention for his terrifying bowling speed. He made his international debut in 2020, just two years after being spotted in a talent show by the franchise.

“Looking back and remembering where I was three years ago, I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t traveled passionately to Gujranwala to appear in the Lahore Qalandars trials. I probably would have done a government job,” he said.

“I am grateful to Lahore Qalandars for everything they have done for me over the past three years. For making a nobody a Pakistani team player.”

The pacer said his journey with Qalandars has taught him a lot and made him a much better bowler.

Haris recalled his trip and said he had never played hardball cricket before coming to the Lahore Qalandars open trials. He said that after joining Qalandars, he toured Australia and got better with every match he played since.

However, he said he is still learning and trying to improve even more to prepare for today’s cricket where batters can hit the bowler all over the ground by taking innovative shots.

“In such a scenario, the most important thing is to get mentally strong,” Haris said.

Rauf determined to put pressure on batters

Speaking about his bowling strategy for the PSL season 7, Haris revealed that his main focus during matches is on delivering maximum point balls rather than taking wickets, as point balls always force the batter to make mistakes.

“I’d rather go for the delivery of point balls rather than focus on taking wickets,” he said.

This is, according to Haris, because a bowler is putting pressure on the batter by delivering punt balls, causing him to commit an error that can automatically give the bowler a wicket.

“I usually bowl in middle and death overs, that part of the inning where you have to block the runs, as the batters usually settle down and go for big hits. In situations like this I try to look for dot balls rather than aggressively looking for wickets,” Haris said.

He said his “weapon” in this case is his Yorker. He believes that he can deliver a Yorker whenever he pleases, which is why he can confidently rely on such a delivery.

“I also try to bowl slower where necessary,” he added.

Haris said he just wants to give his best in every game he plays without worrying about the results.

“I want to go back to my room with the satisfaction of doing what I could instead of regretting things I didn’t or couldn’t do,” said the fast bowler.

‘United under the leadership of Babar Azam’

Speaking of the Men in Green, the fast bowler said that all the players under Babar Azam’s leadership are sitting together and that the captain has created a good atmosphere in the dressing room.

“Babar leads from the front and sets an example for everyone, the rest of the members are automatically motivated to follow him. When the players see that the captain is giving everything, they try to do the same,” he said.

According to Haris, everyone has only one goal in mind that keeps everyone charged in the field: to become the number one team.

“I am very happy to see how the team played and that three of the players won the annual ICC awards. This has motivated me and others. We will all now strive to keep playing better cricket and get the prize back in the country,” said the fast bowler.

Haris Rauf hoped that in the year 2022, the Pakistani team will continue to play the same way and bring more laurels to the country.

Most Memorable Performance

When asked about his most memorable performance in the T20 World Cup, Haris pointed to the match against India, rather than the World Cup match against New Zealand, where he won man of the match.

Haris got a wicket by conceding 25 runs in four overs against India, while the Indian batters could only earn one limit on Rauf’s bowling. The fast bowler believes he has achieved what he was looking for in the match against India.

“I wanted to bowl frugally and stop runs and that’s what I did. I won the man of the match against New Zealand, but the match against India was more memorable for me,” said the Qalandars bowler.

He remembered it was his first game against India so he was under pressure but he’s happy he bowled well against them even in a World Cup match.

While the game for Haris was the first against India, the Pakistani pacers had bowled against the Indian batters before. Haris also got this opportunity in Sydney when he was in Australia for domestic cricket while India was touring for a test series in 2019.

“It was a preparation for a different format, but I bowled against India and learned a lot from Hardik Pandya. While I was bowling, I realized how far behind I was at the international level and then Pandya led me,” he recalls.

“When we met again in the T20 World Cup match, I discovered that they [KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya] reminded me.

He said Pandya told me he was happy to see him perform in the Australian Big Bash League and later for Pakistan.

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