UAE's star impressed with coach Shah

Denzil Pinto 22:05 11/11/2016
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Thumbs up: Shahzad is impressed with Shah.

UAE batsman Rameez Shahzad feels the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) have made a right choice in appointing Owais Shah as the interim head coach after being impressed with his coaching methods so far in training.

Shah, a former England international, was last week confirmed as the temporary coach until the end of January having previously overseen training for two weeks in October as a coaching consultant. His first matches in this role could be against England Lions and Afghanistan with the two sides set to face the UAE in Dubai before the end of the year.

While Shahzad is relishing those encounters, he welcomed Shah’s appointment and had nothing but praise for the experienced batsman, who counts the Indian Premier League and Big Bash League among the tournaments he’s played in.

“He’s come in and made a few things in training,” said the 28-year-old. “Although we are spending a lot of time in the gym, we are spending more time working on different areas like improving our concentration and different aspects of the game.

“It is challenging but I have to admit, it is really good to have Owais Shah work with us for a longer time. He has played cricket all over the world and having played the game as a specialist batsman is a big plus considering we’ve been struggling lately with the bat.”

Although Shah has been involved in the national set-up for less than six weeks, he has already emphasised on the importance of ensuring there’s a high standard of professionalism off and on the field, and Shahzad is beginning to see positive results in training.

“Before Owais Shah came and started working with us, we just used to bowl and bat in the nets and continue practicing those skills,” he said. “But since he came, he has told us that we are now professionals and need to act and play as professional cricketers. He said our mentality needs to change at times if we want to perform well in games and apply that in training.

“That was sometimes missing especially here in the UAE domestic game, We are just used to being aggressive at the crease and try to hit each shot for a boundary.

“He has told us many times that the way we approach games as well as changing our mindsets is crucial because each delivery we will face will be different and it’s up to us to deal with the problem.”

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