T20 World Cup: Worked On My Skills When I Didn't Get Chance In IPL, Reveals Farooqi


(MENAFN- IANS) Tarouba, June 14 (IANS) Afghanistan's left-arm fast-bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi said his superlative performances in the Men's T20 World Cup have come due to him always working on improving his skills in the time he spent on the sidelines for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2024.

Farooqi is leading wicket-taking charts of T20 World Cup through his 12 scalps coming in three matches at an average of 3.50 and an Economy of 3.70, latest of which was a spell of 3-16 in the side's seven-wicket win over Papua New Guinea paving their way to enter the Super Eight stage.

"Unfortunately I didn't get any chance to play in IPL but I was working on my skill, to improve my skill to do better for Afghanistan. I just try to give my hundred percent and just back my skill. For me, my mentality is simple. Whenever I was playing in Under-19 or Under-16, I thought: I'm not the big man.

"I'm not someone big and tall and bowling very fast. At that time, I was just thinking to improve my skill to do something different from the others... I was going to learn to bowl swing and that now for me is simple," said Farooqi to reporters after the match.

In the ongoing competition, Afghanistan have the services of legendary Dwayne Bravo as a bowling consultant and Farooqi has benefitted immensely from his influence. Bravo and Farooqui played together in UAE's ILT20 league for Abu Dhabi Knight Riders and in the Abu Dhabi T10 league for Delhi Bulls.

He revealed the impact of Bravo's guidance has been immense on Afghanistan's bowlers while dealing with pressure situations in the death overs. "Regarding DJ Bravo, I am with him from last four years. I'm playing every time in the same team. He just wants to give to us some tips for how we bowl in the death, how we bowl in the crucial situations. He is everyone's mentor.

"He used to be an old-ball bowler, for the death. But whatever I'm doing with the new ball, that's my skill. He just supports me and says, 'you're doing good' and that's the main thing. If you get some support from the senior players, like he's giving me (tips), especially in the death, how should I bowl in the pressure time, how should I use the slower ball, how should I use the length ball."

After wrapping up their Group C matches with the game against co-hosts West Indies, Afghanistan could be facing the likes of India and Australia in the Super Eights. Farooqi signed off by saying the experience of last year's ODI World Cup in India, where Afghanistan took down the likes of England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, will help them in dealing with bigger sides in Super Eights.

"Before, we were a little bit pressurised. We just thought we can't win the match against the full member teams or the biggest national teams. But when we won the matches in the 2023 ODI World Cup, we now have found some confidence. Now everyone has belief in our skills. This is the first time we just qualify for the Super 8 and we are so happy. Back home, everyone are happy and proud of us," he said.

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IANS

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