Nida Dar Upbeat About Pakistan’s Chances Against England

Pakistan women are fifth on the ICC Women’s Championship points table and the three-ODI series against second-placed England women provides them with a crucial opportunity to secure direct qualification for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup New Zealand 2021. 

Pakistan are banking on their senior players to write history in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, come 9 December when the much-anticipated series begins. And, one of the players the Pakistan women’s team will look up to is Nida Dar.

Nida made her international debut nine years ago and since then, she has become an integral part of Pakistan women’s team set-up.

The bowling all-rounder has to date played 167 internationals. Her ability to lift the team in crucial moments saw her become the first Pakistan cricketer to bag a WBBL contract this year when she turned out for Sydney Thunder and left an impression with her off-spin. 

Amongst the bowlers with 10 or more wickets, Nida had the best strike-rate of 14.7 in the WBBL and her bowling average of 16.92 was the second best.  

Nida, who took 13 wickets in 11 matches, now aims to stretch her form to the upcoming ODI series, while also guiding the team from her experiences Down Under.

“It has been a great experience to be part of WBBL and there were a lot of learnings which I have and will continue to share with our captain Bismah Maroof,” Nida told pcb.com.pk on the side-lines of the team training session at Kinrara Oval, where the three-match series will be staged. 

“The first and foremost, is that we need to learn on how to adjust to the changing conditions in the match. 

“There isn’t much of a difference between the English and the Pakistani side. There is not much of a difference in the skill-set. We are looking to work on the mental aspect of the game because in international cricket one needs to be mentally tough to thrive. 

“On the day, whichever side plays the best will win.”

Pakistan are yet to register a win against England in ODIs. The two sides have come head-to-head eight times, the last being in 2017, and Nida has been involved in five of those matches. 

With the improved fitness and fielding standards and talented youngsters in the side, the 32-year-old is hopeful that things will be different this time around. 

“There were a lot of issues in our fielding [when Pakistan last played England], but we have made drastic improvements in that aspect and fitness levels, which is evident from the last three-four series. England have not played against most of our girls, which is a positive as it will be difficult for them to prepare against us.”

That Pakistan will enter this series in the absence of Sana Mir puts extra responsibility on Nida’s shoulders. And, she is eager to take up the challenge. 

“Sana has been an integral part of the Pakistan team for a long time and, being a senior, she has helped everyone,” Nida, who has 66 ODI wickets and an average of 28.53, said. “Over the years some young spinner have come forward and I look forward to work with them.” 

Schedule 

9 Dec - First ODI (ICC Women's Championship), Kinrara Oval

12 Dec - Second ODI (ICC Women's Championship), Kinrara Oval

14 Dec - Third ODI (ICC Women's Championship), Kinrara Oval

17 Dec - First T20I, Kinrara Oval

19 Dec - Second T20I, Kinrara Oval

20 Dec - Third T20I, Kinrara Oval

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