How Harry Brook uses PSL experience to help England in Pakistan

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

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Harry Brook may be a freshman signing for England, but he has revealed how a move to the Pakistan Super League helped prepare him for a starring role in this month’s Twenty20 tour.

Brook played a superb finisher in the first of seven T20s against Pakistan on Tuesday, hitting a cool 42 from 25 balls to guide his side to a six-wicket victory.

It was the first time an England side had played in the country since 2005, but Brook, who was only on his fifth appearance, was one of several members of the squad to make his own foray within the PSL.

The 23-year-old represented Lahore Qalandars earlier this year, settling on terms over 10 games and taking a memorable 48-ball century against Islamabad United.

He put those experiences to good use at the National Stadium in Karachi, sharing a 55-point stand with Alex Hales and ending things with his seventh limit in the final.

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

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

“There were a few bumpers that I didn’t really like, but it was very similar to the PSL. The cutters were a bit sticky and held, but generally the footsteps are low and slippery.

England return to the 35,000 capacity stadium for back-to-back matches on Thursday and Friday and Brook will be hoping for more chances to impress.

He grabbed the attention with a shovel shot over the shoulder of Shahnawaz Dahani, nonchalantly turning the ball over to the fine-leg boundary, then left the purists purring with a high drive on extra cover from Naseem Shah in shape.

And he seemed to suggest that last shot was a preferred option on those surfaces.

“It’s difficult, but you have to try to play on the front foot as much as possible,” he said.

“They have very fast bowlers, so it’s hard when you see them hitting to stay on the front foot, but those are the shots you get a big reward for when you hit.”

England captain Moeen Ali, replacing the injured Jos Buttler, was with Brook in the middle when the winning points were scored and was pleased with his composure.

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

“Brooky is one of the best young players – everyone talks about him. Hopefully in the future 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 huge layer of security, with armed soldiers, snipers and a huge traveling convoy en route to the field. But for Brook, the heightened attention is more noticeable up close.

“It’s funny, every time I go to the bathroom, someone follows me,” he added with a smile. “I’ve never really had that before. It’s good, we feel very safe here and we enjoy it.

Buttler, Mark Wood, Reece Topley and Chris Woakes are all expected to sit out for the next two games, leaving Will Jacks, Jordan Cox and Liam Dawson looking for calls if the team needs a refresh.

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Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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