How Harry Brook is Using PSL Experience to Help England in Pakistan

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

Harry Brook may be a rookie in England’s colors, but he has revealed how a stint in the Pakistani Super League helped prepare him for a starring role on this month’s Twenty20 tour.

Brook played an excellent finish in the first of seven T20s against Pakistan on Tuesday, hitting 42 and not out of 25 to guide his team to a six-wicket win.

It was the first time an England team had played in the country since 2005, but Brook, who was only making his fifth appearance, is one of several squad members who have made their own foray as part of the PSL.

The 23-year-old represented the Lahore Qalandars earlier this year, setting conditions over 10 games and bankrolling a memorable 48-ball century against Islamabad United.

He put those experiences to good use at Karachi National Stadium, sharing a 55-run spot with Alex Hales and finishing things off with his seventh cap in the final.

“I’ve had a little bit of experience here in PSL, so I know it’s a very fast outfield,” he told Sky Sports. “I was just trying to keep him on the ground as much as possible.

“I know if I make it through the infield, most of the time it’s four. I was just trying to get there and be there in the end.

“There were some bumpers that didn’t make it to me, but it was very similar to the PSL. The cutters were sticking a little bit and holding, but generally the pitches are low and slippery.”

England are back in the 35,000-seat stadium for back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday and Brook is hoping for more chances to impress.

He drew attention with an over-the-shoulder shot from Shahnawaz Dahani, flipping the ball carelessly to the edge of his thin leg, then left the purists purring with a high kick over extra coverage from Naseem Shah in form.

And he seemed to suggest that the last hit was the preferred option on these surfaces.

“It’s tough, but you have to try to play with your front foot as much as possible,” he said.

“They have some very fast pitchers, so it’s hard, when you see them hitting, to get your front foot, but those are the pitches that you get a big reward for when you pass.”

England captain Moeen Ali, deputizing for the injured Jos Buttler, had Brook in the middle as the winning runs were scheduled and was pleased with his composure.

“I thought we were very smart with the way we played and pursued that. We timed it perfectly,” he said.

“Brooky is one of the best young players – everyone has been talking about it. Hopefully going forward it will give him a lot of confidence and that is only good for English cricket.”

England’s historic visit to Pakistan comes with a massive layer of security, with armed soldiers, snipers and a massive travel convoy en route. But for Brook, the heightened attention is more noticeable up close.

“It’s funny, every time I go to the bathroom I have someone following me,” he added with a smile. “I’ve never really had this before. It feels good, it feels very safe here and we are enjoying it.”

Buttler, Mark Wood, Reece Topley and Chris Woakes will likely stay out for the next few games, leaving Will Jacks, Jordan Cox and Liam Dawson looking for draft picks in case the team needs to freshen up.

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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