Abu Dhabi, December 2: Akeal Hosein, the West Indies left-arm spinner, has already made an impression in white ball cricket. In the CPL 2020, he grabbed 10 wickets while bowling some tight spells, and the effort played a big part in Trinbago Knight Riders winning the title.
Now, playing for the Delhi Bulls in the Abu Dhabi T10, the 28-year old Hosein detailed his dreams and the challenges spinners in short formats like T20, T10.
On the importance of spinners in short formats: Yes definitely. If you look at recent stats in T20s, I think in the top 10 it is actually about 6-7 spinners are there, so I definitely think spinners are very important in shorter format as well.
On how challenging it was to bowl in the UAE pitches: It’s been a good challenge to myself. I am up for any challenge even if its bowling in power play, bowling in the middle overs or in the death. So, I think as a spinner you just cannot be afraid of getting hit and just going out there backing yourself and bowling according to the plan.
On how tough it is to recover quickly after an expensive over in T20s, T10s: I would say it is difficult for any bowler when you are under that pressure more so as a spinner. As I said before, it’s more about mindset though you are a spinner, they are going to come at you. So that’s the first thing you need to get in your mind at that I am a spinner and they are going to come at me and its just about execution. You know if you get hit for a couple of boundaries dependent on what type of shot was played or what not.
It’s just about focusing on the next ball you know, the previous ball has gone, it’s just about focusing on the next ball, executing what you want to execute and just have a clear mindset when you are approaching the crease.
On his preparation for white ball formats: It is really about what the captain wants from me, then you don’t definitely want to be going for any runs as possible, you want to be as tight as possible as a bowler in white ball cricket. So it is whatever role the captain wants, maybe he wants to get a wicket or sometimes he may just require you to bowl a couple of overs or couple of tight overs and keep the score down, so it’s just about being ready whatever the role the captain wants.
On Sunil Narine being his role model: If I have to chose someone (as role model), it will be Sunil Narine. The way he carries the game all by himself even when he is under pressure, even if things is not going in his way, he is very calm and he just continues to focus on the next ball if he gets hit for four or six. He just focuses on the next ball and he is very calm about doing his work and that’s definitely somebody I look up to.
On whether the short formats are particularly tough for bowlers: Yes, I would think that initially bowling in the shorter formats is difficult because bowlers are already under the pump, guys are always coming after you when compared to a Test match. Sometimes, you bowl a good ball in the shorter formats and it still gets put away for boundary or six whereas in a Test match a guy might hit the ball only when it is a bad ball. So, in a shorter format, the bowlers are already under the pump, but having said that the flip side is that you get more wickets and more opportunities in the shorter formats.
On the difference between T20 and T10 cricket: I think the same skills are required. But T10 is definitely something which is harder because guys are going to come after you every ball whereas T20 is also short but sometimes a batsman might have a look at a couple of balls before hitting.
But in T10, it is definitely not a bowler’s paradise, you are always going to be under the pump and guys are always going to come after you, so just looking forward to any challenge and as I said it is about bowling good overs with dot balls and not searching for wickets.
On working on his fielding after that wonder return catch against England in the T20 World Cup 2021: I personally feel that my fielding has dropped off a little bit. I have been working extremely hard and putting extra time in fielding with our fielding coach (Trevor Penney) at West Indies and it was just a joy to take that catch and a rewarding for helping me out as a fielder. I am not there where I want to be but I am slowly getting there and many times I trouble Penney.
On playing for Delhi Bulls along with Dwayne Bravo, Eoin Morgan, Adil Rashid, Mohammad Hafeez etc: It is difficult and narrowed down to pick one thing from these guys. They are different players who come from different backgrounds and different teams, ideas and mindset. So, for me, it’s about me being open minded and just looking forward to chilling with these guys and getting experience and learn how they go about things and their past stories and getting some advice.
Our team is a well-balanced one and obviously whatever team I am part of I am going to give 100%. I think that Delhi Bulls will win the 2021 Abu Dhabi T10 League.
(In arrangement with Delhi Bulls media team)