Muneeba Ali keen to strike form in South Africa, says working with David Hemp helped

Kaushiik Paul
New Update
'Munster' Muneeba Ali ready to have fun and hit big

Muneeba Ali plays an expansive shot on the off-side. © PCB

Pakistan opener Muneeba Ali is keen and confident to find her form back in the series against South Africa which starts with an ODI on January 20 in Durban. Pakistan are going to play three ODIs and the same number of T20Is, in what is the first international series for both sides since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I know I wasn’t up to the standard in the domestic tournament,” Ali told Women’s CricZone before departing for the Proteas tour. “But I worked with David Hemp in the National Camp in Karachi. He told me about my different stance and batting positions, so hopefully, I will score more runs in South Africa.”

Although Ali fared well on her captaincy debut leading PCB Challengers to the title, her form with the bat was not up to the mark as she could manage only 25 runs from the three games that she played in the National T20 Championship last year. However, the arrival of Hemp has helped her a lot.

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“Having David on our team is of great help because he brings a lot of experience. He had coached a lot of known female cricketers around the world and he knows a lot about women’s cricket. So it is of great help,” the 23-year-old added.

Hemp being a left-hander also helped in Ali’s case. “He is also a left-hander and I am also a left-hander. He told me a lot about batting, how to react to different bowlers and how to play according to the demand of modern cricket, it’s a great learning experience from him,” said the 24-match veteran.

Having no experience in leading the side at a big tournament, Ali admitted she felt nervous initially before Bismah Maroof helped her encouraged her to go ahead without fear. “It was my first time and having Bismah biji in our side, she always supported me on and off the field.

“The planning was pretty simple about how to react in different situations in T20 cricket, so it was a good learning curve for me and teammates as well,” she said. “Initially I was a bit nervous but then Bismah biji supported me and encouraged me saying, ‘you have it in you’ and I enjoyed that.

ALSO READ: ‘Munster’ Muneeba Ali ready to have fun and hit big

“Sometimes the plan did not assist us when we played but Fatima (Sana) and Bismah biji held our batting. Of course our bowlers were pretty good in different conditions, so it was a good tournament for our team,” added Ali.

Ali, who made her ODI debut under Maroof in 2018, and also played under her in T20Is, said it was a great learning experience and picked the senior pro's brain as much as she could. “It was a great learning experience because when a player like Bismah biji is around you, you always try to learn from her experience whether it’s off or on the field.

"I always try to learn from her and utilised this opportunity to the maximum as a captain playing alongside her,” she concluded.