Recalled Sarfaraz has a new lease of life without Pakistan captaincy
Wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed has enjoyed being able to concentrate on his own game more without the pressure of captaincy.
Sarfaraz Ahmed feels he can thrive without the pressure of being captain after earning a Pakistan recall for the tour of England.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has not played for his country since he was axed as skipper last October.
Yet Sarfaraz was this week included in a 29-man squad for three Tests and as many Twenty20 Internationals against England in August and September.
And the 33-year-old, who is back-up to Mohammad Rizwan, is relishing being able to concentrate on his own game without the extra responsibility.
"Obviously it was tough to absorb the fact that I was the captain as well as a regular member and then suddenly, I am nowhere," said Sarfaraz.
"You do get upset but I couldn't really dwell on it too much, because I was fortunate that I had domestic cricket there and then came PSL. So, most of the time, I remained busy.
"Then in this free time in the last three months in quarantine, I got time to reflect and improve my fitness to be ready for any opportunity.
"When you are captain in any format, it definitely brings a lot of pressure on you and this is why it's a big responsibility. When you were playing cricket non-stop without a break, relentlessly, then these breaks really help you.
"I've been talking to Misbah [ul-Haq, the Pakistan head coach] and he was urging me to utilise this time to work smartly to improve my fitness and reflect on what I have been doing wrong.
"When you are captain you basically think differently - more about the team than yourself. Your main focus is on the team result and performances, and in all this you spent more time supporting your players.
"But now I don't have that added responsibility and I will be thinking exclusively how I can play my part as a player in any situation where I am needed.
"Overall, I realised that this seven or eight-month gap away from the national team has helped me rediscover myself as player."