Harry Brook putting PSL experience to good use on England’s T20 tour of Pakistan
Harry Brook may be a rookie in England colours, but he has revealed how a stint in the Pakistan Super League helped prepare him for a starring role in this month’s Twenty20 tour.
Brook played a superb finisher’s knock in the first of seven T20s against Pakistan on Tuesday, hitting a cool 42 not out off 25 balls to guide his side to a six-wicket win.
It was the first time an England side had played in the country since 2005 but Brook, who was making just his fifth appearance, is one of several squad members who made their own foray as part of the PSL.
The 23-year-old represented Lahore Qalandars earlier this year, settling into conditions over the course of 10 games and banking a memorable 48-ball century against Islamabad United.
He put those experiences to good use at Karachi’s National Stadium, sharing a 55-run stand with Alex Hales and finishing things off with his seventh boundary in the final over.
“I’ve had a little bit of experience here in the PSL so I know it’s a very fast outfield,” he told Sky Sports. “I was just trying to keep it on the floor as much as possible.
“I know if I can get through the infield, then most of the time it’s four. I was just trying to get there and be there at the end.
“There were a few bumpers which didn’t quite get up to me, but it was very similar to the PSL. The cutters were sticking in a little bit and holding but generally the pitches are low and skiddy.”
England are back at the 35,000-capacity stadium for back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday. The seven-game series finishes on October 2 before England complete their preparations for the T20 World Cup with three games against Australia.
Brook will be hoping for more chances to impress.
He caught the eye with an over-the-shoulder scoop shot off Shahnawaz Dahani, flipping the ball nonchalantly to the fine-leg boundary, then left the purists purring with a lofted drive over extra-cover off the in-form Naseem Shah.
And he appeared to suggest that the latter stroke was a preferred option on these surfaces.
“It’s tough but you’ve got to try and play on the front foot as much as possible,” he said.
“They’ve got some very fast bowlers so it’s hard, when you see them bang it in, to stay on the front foot, but those are the shots you get high reward for when you get it through.”
England captain Moeen Ali, standing in for the injured Jos Buttler, was with Brook in the middle when the winning runs were scored and was pleased with his composure.
“I thought we were really smart with the way we played and chased that down. We timed it perfectly,” he said.
“Brooky is one of the best young players – everyone’s been talking about it. Hopefully going forward this will give him a lot of confidence and that’s only good for English cricket.”
England’s landmark visit to Pakistan comes with a huge layer of security, with armed soldiers, snipers and a huge travel convoy en route to the grounds. But for Brook, the increased attention is most noticeable at closer quarters.
“It’s funny, every time I go to the toilet I’ve got someone following me,” he added with a smile.
“I’ve never really had that before. It’s good, it feels very secure over here and we’re enjoying it.”
Buttler, Mark Wood, Reece Topley and Chris Woakes are all likely to remain sidelined for the next couple of games, leaving Will Jacks, Jordan Cox and Liam Dawson angling for call-ups should the side need freshening up.
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