Roy rel­ishes Pak­istan pace­man tall or­der

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

SHAR­JAH: Eng­land’s tal­ented opener Ja­son Roy yes­ter­day ad­mit­ted lanky Mo­ham­mad Ir­fan poses a dif­fer­ent chal­lenge with his gi­ant-like height, say­ing it’s dif­fi­cult to get hold of the Pak­istani pace­man in the on­go­ing one-day se­ries. The seven feet, one inch (2.16m) tall Ir­fan-the tallest-ever player to play the game-bowled Roy with the sec­ond ball of the first one-day in­ter­na­tional in Abu Dhabi on Wed­nes­day.

Ir­fan picked 3-35 to an­chor Pak­istan’s six-wicket win but Eng­land lev­elled the four-match se­ries at 1-1 by win­ning the sec­ond match-also in Abu Dhabi — on Fri­day. Roy said Ir­fan is dif­fi­cult with the ball com­ing from an un­usual height. “He’s an ab­so­lute gi­ant,” said Roy of Ir­fan ahead of the third match in Shar­jah on Tues­day. “Yes it is dif­fer­ent. You saw how he com­pletely did me in the first game. It’s some­thing to get used to and some­thing to work on but he’s very dif­fi­cult to get hold of.”

Roy, who hit a bril­liant 54 in Eng­land’s 283-5 in the sec­ond game, said he tries to keep his eyes on the ball. “You just have to watch the ball no mat­ter who’s bowl­ing at you. There are so many dif­fer­ent ac­tions out there you just have to watch that ball. Yes, you’ve al­most got to have a dif­fer­ent set up and wait for the ball a bit more. “He prob­a­bly seems a bit quicker than he is be­cause he’s (al­most) 12 foot tall but .... my team-mate at Sur­rey was Chris Trem­lett so I’ve had a bit of ex­pe­ri­ence at fac­ing big bowlers. He was a hand­ful and so is Ir­fan.” Roy said Eng­land’s bats­men had coped well against leg-spin­ner Yasir Shah in one-day matches af­ter the Pak­istani bowler took 15 wick­ets in the pre­ced­ing 2-0 Test win.

“It’s (just) been two games, and he’s ob­vi­ously a class bowler - so you’ve al­ways got to be on edge with play­ers like him. But I think you’ve just got to have your way of play­ing, and back it,” Roy said, hail­ing Eng­land’s lev­el­ling of the se­ries.

“It was ex­tremely sat­is­fy­ing, and a great turn­around from the team as well af­ter the dis­ap­point­ment of the first game. To turn it round like we did was an out­stand­ing ef­fort with bat and ball.” Roy praised his open­ing part­ner Alex Hales who knocked his maiden hun­dred on Fri­day. “He’s an out­stand­ing player. He’s come a long way, since start­ing in the Twenty20 for­mat. He’s got his maiden hun­dred - and that was his key task for this trip, he said.

“Now that he’s crossed that kind of hur­dle, I think he’d be more than ready (for the step into Tests),” said Roy of Hales’s prospect of se­lec­tion on next month’s tour to South Africa. — AFP

ABU DHABI: Pak­istan’s Mo­ham­mad Ir­fan (L) re­acts af­ter de­liv­er­ing a ball as Eng­land’s Joe Root looks on dur­ing the sec­ond One Day In­ter­na­tional (ODI) cricket match be­tween Pak­istan and Eng­land at The Zayed Cricket Sta­dium in the Gulf Emi­rate of Abu Dhabi. — AFP

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