Ahmed Shehzad not pleased with comparisons to Virat Kohli
Shehzad dismissed claims that he has attitude issues and praised coach Waqar Younis for his approach.
Pakistani cricketer Ahmed Shehzad has expressed his displeasure at being compared with Virat Kohli, according to The Express Tribune. The opening batsman has drawn comparisons with the Indian Test skipper based on his looks as well as perceived attitude problems, but Shehzad claims the views are a long way off from the truth.
Considered one of Pakistan’s brightest prospects, Shehzad is yet to replicate the kind of form that has seen Kohli cement his place as one of the leading batsmen in world cricket. The 23-year-old, who has played 70 ODI’s for his national team, expressed confidence however that with time he can match Kohli’s achievements.
“There is no comparison; he plays for India I play for Pakistan. He has his own ambitions, I have mine,” Shehzad said. “And I am sure when I have played the number of ODIs and Tests that he has played I would have also achieved a lot. But right now I have played just 70 he has played double that figure so comparisons should not be made by the media.”
“I am satisfied with my Test batting average of nearly 44 but would like to improve my ODI average of 35 and my overall strike rate. I am sure with the passage of time these averages will improve and there will be more centuries as well,” he said.
Shehzad went on to talk about how he has been misunderstood by a section of the media as well as the team management.
“My motto is to enjoy cricket and I like playing cricket with a sense of freedom and joy," he said. “I like to dress well, eat well and am bit of a showman and I think, if you don’t have (the correct) attitude, you can’t be a more than an average professional sportsman.”
“But to say that I am undisciplined or have attitude problems is not correct. I have my own style and I like to enjoy life but that does not mean I am not a team man, good professional athlete or I don’t respect my teammates.”
Shehzad was dropped from the team which faced Zimbabwe recently and he expressed disappointment at the decision.
“Yes definitely that was a disappointment to not to get to play in front of my home crowd but hopefully that chance will come soon,” he said. “I know I don’t always deliver at the crease but whenever I do I just want my team management to remember I am still just 23 years and judge my performances on that.”
Shehzad critical of coach Waqar Younis for World Cup report, but praises his overall approach
After the 2015 World Cup, skipper Misbah-Ul-Haq and coach Waqar Younis had recommended dropping Shehzad from the squad due to disciplinary issues – a view that Shehzad clearly doesn’t agree to.
“There are a lot of conjunctions about the report and some misunderstanding. Obviously they are differences and issues in a team which is like a family. But that does not mean I am not disciplined. Why they filed that report is something they can answer best,” he said.
Shehzad, however, maintained that he has a cordial relationship with Waqar and even praised the Pakistani legend for his fresh approach.
“At first I had a different outlook but now after having seen the hard work put in by Waqar bhai and the other coaching staff, I respect them and their efforts. There is no doubt that Waqar has introduced positivity in the team and we have been told all the time to just go and play aggressive cricket but sensibly without bothering about the pitch conditions or the opponents,” he said.
“This is a marked difference now that we are being told we must be prepared to play aggressively in any circumstances and everyone must work towards achieving that goal.”