Chirag Suri says UAE have achieved nothing yet despite their sparkling start to their tour of Oman.
Opening batsman Suri has led the way himself, with his own stunning form bringing him personal best scores in both one-day international cricket and T20Is.
They are back in action on Sunday morning, when they play Ireland in their second match of a four-team series also including Nepal and Oman.
The quadrangular series is a warm up ahead of the real business of the tour - the T20 World Cup Qualifier, which starts on Friday. The two finalists from that eight-team competition will advance to play at the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
Suri points out that, while their form has been encouraging, there is no point dwelling on their success.
“It has been a good week so far, but the focus is definitely on the big qualifier games, so we can’t be complacent now,” Suri said, after making a career best 84 not out against Nepal on Saturday.
“We really have to keep up this momentum. The UAE team, usually we are not very good starters, but we finish well. The way we have started this time goes to show just how much hard work we have put in as a team.
“The way Robin [Singh, the UAE coach] has taken over the team for the past six months, we have worked really hard. We have just been lacking game time.
“Now the hard work is showing because we have been seeing the team do so well. Everybody has been contributing, and it has been really good to see the success.
“Credit goes to Robin for the way he has worked us, day in and day out. He just puts in the effort with the guys himself, personally, and that is what makes the difference.”
So far on tour, Suri has scores of 115, 43 and 7 on the ODI series against Oman, followed by the 84 not out against Nepal in the first of the T20s. He puts his improved form down to fitness training with the sprint team of Track & Field Athletics UAE and Gems World Academy in Dubai.
“Personally, I have been working really hard on the mental side of the game, on my shot selection as well,” he said. “Also with my fitness, I know have my own team that I work with, an athletics team who are a group of sprinters.
“That definitely has made a difference, putting in the work in the gym and on the track. That has made my body stronger, and I have been able to put those performances out there which I had not been able to consistently before.
“I definitely feel really good, and want to carry on those performances for the big games to follow.”