Assistant batting coach Bopara ‘impressed’ with young batting talent in Kings’ squad

RAWALPINDI: Karachi Kings’ rising stars Tayyab Tahir, Qasim Akram and Ifran Khan Niazi impressed Ravi Bopara with their all-round brilliance amid his stint as the assistant batting coach of the team in the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) season eight.

Bopara spoke to the media here after the Kings’ narrow four-wicket defeat against Gladiators and highlighted the positives from his coaching role stint as he heaped praises on the young talent.

“I’ve been very impressed with the youngsters, they’re very good boys, always happy, very joyful and got a lot of energy. Tahir has really impressed me with his shot selection, his power and you can see in the field that he’s a really good fielder, which is everything you need as a batter. Hopefully, a very big future for himself,” stated Bopara.

“Qasim Akram also looks a class player, he’s got all the attributes and also we didn’t get the opportunity to see his bowling because he’s actually a really good off-spinner as well. Let’s not forget Niazi, he’s shown how good is he in the field and he’s got a couple of good knocks. So, very excited for those three boys,” he added.

Bopara then revealed the reason behind his team sequentially falling short in the last five overs of the matches and lamented the shortage of a death bowling specialist.

“It’s not a problem that you can fix overnight. Death bowling is a special skill for which you have particular players,” said Bopara.

“Amir is one of the best death bowlers in Pakistan and he is a specialist in that position. But, in any T20 side now, you need two guys who can do that and also another guy who is relatively good at it. Unfortunately, we don’t have a second guy who could do as good as Amir,” he added.

The Kings’ assistant batting coach then advised the bowlers to learn different ways of bowling death overs as he asserted that it was not realistic to expect six yorkers in an over by any bowler.

“The best yorker bowler of all time in any cricket was [Lasith] Malinga and his average was four yorkers per over, even he couldn’t land six in six. He might, in odd over, land six in six but his average was four,” said Bopara.

“So, if we’re being realistic, no one else is gonna do that, we expect people to hit five to six yorkers in an over but that’s not gonna happen. So, you just could work out other ways of bowling death overs like a slower ball, a good bouncer or be smart with your lines to keep the batters guessing,” he maintained.

It is worth mentioning that Martin Guptill’s astonishing 86-run knock powered Gladiators to edge Kings in a nail-biter.

Both Kings and Gladiators remained at the fifth and sixth spot respectively, following the outcome of the match.