Whichever number I’m asked to play I will be available and give my 100 percent – Sohaib Maqsood

Pakistan batsman Sohaib Maqsood, who is making a comeback into the national set-up after a long period of five and a half years, says he will be available to bat at any spot for his side and give his best shot.

Sohaib had batted at one down for his franchise in the second half of the PSL, and ended up being the third highest run-getter in the tournament, behind Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. However, in the national set-up, fixing Maqsood at the third spot will be a tough ask for the Pakistan management with the slot already occupied by other players.

“In domestic cricket whichever position, you’re performing at and then you get selected in the national side. It is important that you have to see is that slot available in the national side,” said Maqsood in a virtual media conference. “In my case, I have played lower down the order in PSL and performed as well. For the team, whichever number I’m asked to play, I will be available and try to give my 100 percent.”

The 34-year-old batsman had last represented Pakistan in one of the ODIs against New Zealand in 2016, and since then remained out of the side. According to Maqsood, the reason for his success in the domestic and PSL has been his fearless mindset and better shot selection. “Whatever cricket I have played in the last one and a half year, I’ll try to play with that mindset of mine in domestic cricket, which was fearless and at times when you come into the national side, in order to save yourself from losing big things you restrict yourself.

“I have lived five and a half years without this and god forbid if opportunity goes away, my life won’t end. The way I have played fearlessly in domestic cricket, I will try to apply the same thing here which will give me the chance to perform better instead of playing with fear in my mind.

“The same things are being said about every player out there, the time I was dropped from the side I never made a comeback. So to say that I cannot bear the pressure of coming back into the side, I think it would be too early to say this. I think this is my proper comeback after five and a half years. Like I said whenever you’re in the national side, you tie yourself down with fear and you don’t want to get out. I have taken that thing out of my mind completely, the way I have played in domestic and PSL, I will play in the exact same way, and Inshallah if God wills, I will perform too.”

Maqsood pointed out that England are one of the best white ball teams right now but highlighted Pakistan’s wins over them in the Champions Trophy 2017 and World Cup 2019.

“The conditions in England in white ball cricket have favored batting. There always have been high-scoring games here. And Pakistan in the Champions Trophy, 2019 World Cup, so our record is good. No doubt, England is one of the best white-ball team but Pakistan have given them a tough time. So we hope there will be a good competition.”

Pakistan will play England in three ODIs and as many T20Is with the first ODI to be played on July 8.