Owais Shah had a very nice 40- minute long insta chat with cricview on 17th May ,in which he discussed on various aspects of cricket ,starting from his own England career to future of Test cricket.
Taking questions on his 1st ODI hundred, Owais stated that it was a good knock for him coming to play at number 6 after a controversial runout of Collingwood . England needed a big score to challenge India and nearly succeeded in winning but for Utthappa’s brilliant knock. He also added that his test debut happened in the last moment after the unavailability of Alistar Cook and he succeeded in scoring 88 on his debut, getting off the mark quickly to settle early nerves and played well after that. He stated that cricket is 85 % about mental strength, 10% technique and 5% luck.
Shah said that after lack of playing chances subsequently with England , he started focussing on T20 and started to tune his preparations to meet the requirements of that format, trying to play aggressive, hitting 6s etc and had played for 4 franchisees in IPL of which he liked his stints with Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals , being particularly impressed with Rahul Dravid’s style of functioning in Royals.
On being asked about his favourite format, Shah mentioned test cricket over other formats. Agreeing to a suggestion that the quality of cricket has dipped from the 1990s to 2010s ,Shah blamed T20 cricket for the same. He explained that before T20 cricket , the aim of every upcoming cricketer was to play for the country and hence there was lot of competition for spots as a result , the player currently playing for the national team had to keep his performance levels high as there are many candidates below waiting for their chances but with T20s coming through , many young cricketers who are not that highly talented settled for franchisee cricket over international cricket , thus there is a mindset change and competition for top spots in the national team has reduced. As examples Brad Hodge and Stuart McGill , who were quality cricketers in late 90s struggled to find spot in the top Australian eleven due to presence of high quality cricketers.
Shah states that test cricket is still being followed in England and Australia but after the emergence of T20s the demand for test cricket has reduced in the subcontinent as people want to see instant results and frequent boundaries. However, to another suggestion that Test cricket between two unevenly match teams are less watchable due to foregone conclusion in results, Shah suggested that there should be 2 tier structure in test cricket with the top tier consisting of the best teams who are equivalent in strength and lower tier consisting of weaker teams.
Shah stressed on belief as an important component in sports and cricket which comes from handling pressure situations well. Hence he advises youngsters to challenge themselves in pressure situations which will enhance self belief which is the most important component to succeed.
On asked about best bowlers he faced in his career , Shah mentioned McGrath, Warne and Muralidharan .
Lords cricket ground is his most favourite ground in all aspects and as a country he liked Australia , the best . About India , he lauded the fans for their love of cricket and has been impressed with their knowledge of the game and individual records.
About his coaching assignment, Shah adviced youngsters pursuing the game to follow the online coaching system on ace cricket academy and just log in without any charges and follow the coaching with some demonstrations of how to play certain cricket shots.
To round off , Owais Shah was asked to select a best ODI XI from the top players and his team looked as under in his batting order :
Tendulkar, Gilchrist, Sangakkara, Ponting, Lara, Stokes, Wasim, Warne, Waqar , McGrath and Muralidharan.