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January 20, 2013
Nasir Jamshed has said he wants to boost his reputation on the tour of South Africa, the first time he'll be playing outside Asia.
Jamshed made his international debut in early 2008, in the home ODI series against Zimbabwe. He had a relatively tidy stint between 2008 and 2009, playing mostly against Asian teams in Asia, before missing out due to fitness issues. After two-and-a-half years he returned to international cricket last year, scored 602 runs at 66.88 with three hundreds and three fifties. He played 22 ODIs and 11 T20Is, all in Asia; his grade-cricket career too was confined to the subcontinent. His limited-overs credentials, though, ultimately won him a Test call-up for the tour of South Africa.
Jamshed, who struck back-to-back centuries in the ODI series against India, is currently Pakistan's best batsman in terms of form and consistency. He is keen on becoming a complete batsman who can adjust to any conditions around the world. "I don't want to be tagged as an Asian-oriented batsman," Jamshed told ESPNcricinfo. "It's the line between an average and a world-class player," he added, claiming success around the world was key.
"I admit I haven't played outside Asia and the tour to South Africa without doubt will be my first real test and I am prepared for it."
Jamshed, 23, who, so far, has played against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Australia, said he is yet to face a "tough" bowler in international cricket. In South Africa, though, he is expecting tougher competition. "I haven' played out of Asia; similarly I am yet to face tough bowlers, so it would be a unique experience for me to bat against South Africa's world-class bowlers in their own backyard."
Pakistan have toured South Africa on four occasions since 1995. The pitches in South Africa have always tested Pakistan's batsmen. Among the openers, Taufeeq Umar and Saeed Anwar managed to score centuries, with the current vice-captain Mohammad Hafeez averging 16.5 in six innings played in 2007. "I never been to South Africa at any stage of my career but the pitches there are always challenging," Jamshed said. "I don't know what happened in past but every day is a new day and things do improve with time. It obviously will be tough but we are well prepared for it and I have my plans as an opener.
"I know they have done some homework on me and I am not worried at all but I have to think ahead of them and give them nothing. There is no need to rush. If they want to bowl hard, I have all the strokes and patience required for Test cricket. I have also worked so hard on my defence, making it more solid."
Pakistan's Test squad left for South Africa on Sunday morning from Lahore.
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