Want people to call me Babar Azam, not Virat Kohli: Haider Ali
Haider shone in the 2020 PSL for the Peshawar Zalmi, scoring 239 runs in nine matches.
Updated - Mar 23, 2020 12:10 pm
Haider Ali, the young Pakistan batsman, wants to brush his batting skills to the extent that people draw his parallels with Babar Azam. The 19-year-old picked Babar, Pakistan’s T20I skipper, over Indian captain Virat Kohli. Haider was recently a part of the Peshawar Zalmi in the 2020 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). There he scored 239 runs in nine games, striking at 158.27.
His top score of 69 came against the Lahore Qalandars at the Gaddafi Stadium. The Attock-born was also a part of Pakistan’s U19 squad for the 2020 World Cup in South Africa. In that tournament, he scored 56 against Priyam Garg’s India in Potchefstroom. He now wishes to model himself on Babar, who was the leading run-scorer of this PSL with 345 runs at an average of 49.28.
I met Babar during the first-class tournament: Haider Ali
“A batsman can never become like his role models, but can improve himself and develop shots like they play. I want to improve myself to the extent that people call me Babar Azam and not Kohli because Babar has good shots,” Haider said in a video on YouTube as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
However, the talented Haider said that he can learn from some of Virat’s exquisite shots. “I cannot become Kohli but can develop shots like him through practice. I’m Haider Ali so I can only become Haider Ali,” he said.
Haider showed his gratitude towards Babar for guiding him during a first-class tournament, at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore and also at the PSL.
“I met Babar Azam during the first-class tournament and he gave me tips regarding my batting. We also get to learn a lot from him in the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. He also supported me during PSL by boosting my confidence and advising me to keep scoring runs and leave the rest to Allah Almighty,” Haider added.
Babar is currently ICC’s number-one ranked batsman in T20Is, having scored 1471 runs in 38 matches at an average of 50.72. Barring some miraculous development, he is also expected to lead the national team in the 2020 edition of the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.