Yasir Arafat has had a good season with Kent, an impressive Test debut against India, and is now looking forward to doing well in Pakistan's domestic season.
Tell us about your stint with Kent earlier in the year?
It was my second year in county cricket and this time I was paired with Andrew Hall for Kent. Playing with, and against, international stars taught me a lot. I had earlier played at Sussex as well, with Mushtaq Ahmed. I played 10 first-class matches with Kent and managed 369 runs, with two centuries, as well as 27 wickets.
What is your role in the current Pakistan team? You had been labelled an ODI specialist, but your county stint suggests you are a fairly capable allrounder in the longer form?
That is true. I have 527 first-class wickets and close to 4500 runs. Because I am now considered an allrounder, I have to work hard on my batting and bowling both. I have been playing first-class cricket for 10 years now, but I have only played seven ODIs since making my debut seven years ago. I'm called up for a game here and there due to injuries to senior players and that is the reason why I haven't been able to perform to the level that I can.
What was your Test debut like?
It was always my dream to play for Pakistan, and to make my Test debut against a team like India, and that too in India, was just overwhelming. Since it was a Test match, it allowed me to bowl long spells and prove to doubters that I can bowl in Test matches too. Seven wickets on debut and 44 in the first innings [in Bangalore in December 2007] - I can't really complain.
Why do you think Pakistan lost against both South Africa and India despite good individual performances?
Individual performances merely played a rescue act in both series. We failed to click as a team and when you have your strike bowlers like Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul unfit, it is a blow to the team. We did not have enough resources to counter the experienced line-ups.
What next for you?
I played four matches in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and performed reasonably well, hopefully enough to get the nod for the tour matches and the ODI series against Zimbabwe.
There is a domestic Twenty20 and limited-overs tournament after that series, and I'm hoping to perform there as well, so I'm in the reckoning for the Australia series. I don't want to be a back-up bowler called up whenever someone is injured. I want to be a worthy allrounder in all forms of cricket.