Pakistan's newest batting sensation Haider Ali has revealed that India’s One-day International vice-captain Rohit Sharma is his role model.
The 19-year-old lauded the way Sharma "gives the Indian team a start" and admitted that he wants to be just as inspiring for Pakistan.
Speaking to AFP reporters, Haider Ali said:
"Rohit Sharma is my role model because of the way he gives the Indian team a start. It's amazing. Whether it's a Test, one-day international or a Twenty20, he comes with thinking and takes the attack to the bowlers. I want to give the same start to the Pakistan."
The youngster further commended Sharma's aggressive playing style saying:
"Once he reaches 50 he thinks for 100, and on 100 he thinks of 150."
The cross-border praise comes amid high political tensions between the neighbouring countries, who seldom play against one another as a result of the ongoing turbulence.
The last time India played Pakistan in a bilateral ODI series was back in 2012-13 when the latter toured India for two T20Is and three ODIs. Meanwhile, the two sides played their last bilateral Test series in 2007-08 as India beat Pakistan 1-0.
Haider Ali has witnessed a meteoric rise in recent years
Haider Ali is a member of Pakistan's squad for the upcoming England tour and was picked after a series of scintillating performances including his spectacular display against India in the semi-final of the ICC-19 World Cup in South Africa earlier this year.
Meanwhile, his idol Rohit Sharma has made a name for himself as one of world cricket's most dangerous openers and currently holds the record for hitting the most sixes in Twenty20 Internationals (127).