Mohammad Ali opens up on importance of red-ball cricket to excel in white-ball formats

Pakistan Test pacer was among the highest wicket-takers for Multan Sultans in PSL 9

May 05, 2024
Mohammad Ali has played two Tests for Pakistan. - PCB

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Test pacer Mohammad Ali has shed light on the importance of red-ball cricket for any bowler to excel in other formats. 

The 31-year-old, who was among the highest wicket-takers for Multan Sultans in Pakistan Super League (PSL) season nine, talked exclusively to Geo News and talked about various matters.

"There is no problem in the transition from red-ball to white-ball formats because first-class cricket teaches you basic skills," he said.

"I strongly believe red-ball cricket can cover white-ball formats but you can never excel in the longer version of cricket by playing white-ball cricket," he added.

He rated Test cricket as the prime format of the game because it is a test of your skills. "Test cricket is the real test of skills technique and mental approach of a player. The shorter format becomes easier when you have gone through first-class cricket."

Meanwhile, he also shared his plan behind success in the ninth edition of PSL where he took 19 wickets.

"I had a very simple plan in PSL. You get a lot of practice of bowling in the same areas when you play red-ball cricket consistently which creates a muscle memory for a bowler.

"I did nothing out of the box in PSL and whiteball was nothing new for me. Only the colour of the ball changed from red to white in PSL for me," he maintained.

He calls himself a big fan of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Shoaib Akhtar as he has watched them play in his childhood. He also named South Africa's Dale Steyn and New Zealand's Shane Bond.

"Pakistan Cricket is full of legends with historic performances for the country. I am inspired by Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar. I have grown up watching their bowling clips. Dale Steyn and Shane Bond are also my inspirations.

"I have met Wasim and Waqar multiple times and questioned them regarding the technicalities of fast-bowling. They were always kind enough to guide me by giving tips." 

Mohammad Ali was ignored by the PCB Selection Committee in the recently announced T20 squad of Pakistan despite their top performance in PSL 9, however, he vowed to perform in domestic cricket. 

"I always focus on my performance every day. My job is to take wickets no matter whether an opportunity in the national team is provided or not. I give importance to every domestic match likewise test match or PSL."

On the other hand, Ali talked about the importance of education for a sportsman since he is also a graduate.

"Education is very important. This is a drawback that nobody gave importance to education for sportsmen in our country," he added.

"Talent hard work intelligence and education are very important for any professional to excel in his field. My message to budding cricketers is to focus on education along sports because an educated sportsman understands, learns and confidently executes plans better than an illiterate person."

It must be noted that Ali is currently playing President Cup for SNGPL