Saqib Mahmood hopes for reverse-swing: The rookie English pacer is expecting to unveil variations following a significant rule change for bowlers.
Rookie England pacer Saqib Mahmood is among their 55-member squad which has resumed training post the lockdown caused due to the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
With West Indies set to tour England for a three-match Test series, English cricketers have returned to the field to be in their best shapes going into the series which will resume the sport after the lockdown.
Speaking in a recent interview with ESPNcricinfo, 23-year old Mahmood opened up on how he is finding his rhythm despite not bowling at his 100% right now.
🎥 At home with @SaqMahmood25 💪
A sneak peek into his home workout routine 🏋️♂️
— Lancashire Cricket (@lancscricket) May 5, 2020
“I’ve been able to build up pretty quickly. I’ve obviously not hit match intensity yet, but in terms of the feel of my run-up and action, and the rhythm that I’ve been able to get into, I thought it would take me a lot longer.
“There was that uncertainty of how long lockdown was going to be, and I wanted to make the most of it. I had everything I needed for leg strength, core stuff, upper-body stuff and I feel the difference in my body now. I don’t know if that’s added any pace, but so far it feels like it is coming out quicker than what it was, which is good,” Mahmood was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Saqib Mahmood hopes for reverse-swing in England post saliva ban
Mahmood, who made his ODI debut during the tour of South Africa earlier this year after making his T20I debut in November last year, is likely to receive his Test cap this summer and England are likely to rotate bowlers to ensure minimal injuries.
The right-arm bowler from Lancashire further spoke about how he hopes for reverse-swing to aid bowlers in England especially after ICC have banned the use of saliva to shine a cricket ball.
“It’s not ideal. As bowlers, especially swing bowlers, you lose one of your biggest threats. You want to start practising new skills, but it does take a big weapon away from bowlers and that will favour the batsmen a lot more,” Mahmood added.
It is worth mentioning that England will host West Indies at two venues namely Old Trafford and Southampton. Mahmood, who picked 21 wickets in nine matches at an average of 31.42 in the last county season, considered reverse-swing as a useful tactic especially while playing at the aforementioned venues.
“If you’re playing on an abrasive or dry surface, which Old Trafford and Southampton can be, then you might use [reverse-swing] as a tactic. Rather than shining the ball and getting it to swing conventionally, you might scuff up one side on the wicket and try to look after the other to get it smooth and dry to get lateral movement,” Mahmood further added.