Trusting your strengths is the way to stop batsmen, reveals speedster Naveen-ul-Haq

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What is the best way to plug the flow of runs when batters just smash bowlers left, right and centre?

For Team Abu Dhabi speedster Naveen-ul-Haq, reverting to his strengths when put under testing conditions is the best way to apply the brakes on the scoring rate.

“I always work on my strengths irrespective of formats,” Naveen-ul-Haq revealed.

And for Naveen, that strength comes from his variations, as seen in the ongoing Abu Dhabi T10 season.

“You must also be unpredictable as a bowler,” he said.

A yorker, a bouncer, a slower one – the 22-year-old Afghan international does it all, that too with the perfection of a seasoned veteran.

Interestingly, four of Naveen’s seven wickets this season have come through slower deliveries. He has picked a brace in two matches and one wicket each in three other games.

When the Kabul-born bowler did not take a wicket in the opening match of the season, he compensated it with an enviable economy, giving only seven runs in his quota of 12 balls.

“Every dot ball is gold in this format, and I try for that. I also try to save myself from big hits.”

However, Naveen-ul-Haq, who has played franchise cricket across the world, is also aware of how quickly things can go south for bowlers in the T10 format.

“Both T10 and T20 are different formats. In T20s, a player gets time to change things to help his team recover in a match. In T10, even if one over goes wrong with the bat or bowl, the pressure increases,” he explained.

But when things don’t work out for the Afghan international, the team has his back. The philosophy of Team Abu Dhabi to play a fearless brand of cricket is what pushes players like Naveen-ul-Haq even when the cards are stacked against them.

“During the tournament, we may also have a game where everything might work against us. But we still have to continue playing with the same intensity. We have seen the capability of our team and we still have to keep self-belief that we can win the game,” he said.

The belief has worked in Team Abu Dhabi’s favour till now. The home side has won seven of their nine matches this season and are one of the favourites to lift the trophy for the first time.

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