Pakistan might presently be coached by two of their most well-known batsmen, however for inspiration, the most recent member of their squad is trying barely east. The Attock-born Haider Ali, who rose to nationwide prominence after scoring a half-century for Pakistan in an in any other case painfully one-sided defeat to India within the Underneath-19 World Cup semi-final earlier this yr, views India’s Rohit Sharma as his primary inspiration.
“So far as function fashions are involved, mine is Rohit Sharma,” Haider mentioned in a video press convention. “I actually like him as a participant, and need to give the facet an aggressive begin on the prime, and hit the ball cleanly like him. He’s a person for all three codecs, and he can adapt his recreation to all three codecs. And the factor I like greatest is when he crosses 50, he strikes on to a 100, after which he is considering of 150, and even 200. That is what I need to do: to consider getting massive scores, and once I get there, intention for even larger ones. He finishes the sport off for his facet, and is an actual match-winner.”
Haider emerged as considered one of Pakistan’s most promising younger batsmen by excelling in all three codecs over the previous few months. Having solely made his first-class debut in September final yr, the 19-year-old had a splendid opening season which culminated in a second-innings 134 for the unfancied Northern facet within the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy remaining. It was his second hundred of the season, along with three half-centuries as he completed with a mean a shade under 50.
On the Underneath-19 World Cup, his performances caught the attention of Ian Bishop, who mentioned he reminded him of Babar Azam. Haider would quickly earn a contract with Peshawar Zalmi on the Pakistan Tremendous League, the place his meteoric rise continued, his popularity enhanced by a string of regular scores on the blistering strike charge of almost 160. Solely 5 Pakistan batsmen scored extra runs than his 239, and simply two – Shadab Khan and Kamran Akmal – may boast a superior strike charge. Having proven kind like this throughout codecs, Haider needs to be part of the Pakistan facet in all three types.
“I began my cricket in Attock as a tape-ball participant in 2015. In 2016, I started to play laborious ball and play for the Underneath-16 facet after which Underneath-19,” Haider mentioned. “In my household, my cousin is the one one who performed cricket, and nobody else. Watching him, I started to get within the sport.
“My intention was to symbolize Pakistan. My intention is to play all three codecs, and my preparation for all three codecs is nice. Just lately within the home first-class competitors, I did nicely, and earlier than that there was the U-19 World Cup. I then performed the PSL, so I’ve had apply in all three codecs. As quickly as I get the prospect, I am going to give my greatest.
“I at all times needed to play below the teaching of Younis Khan, and I am glad I’ll get the chance this time. I need to be taught as a lot as doable from this tour and ask a number of questions of each Younis and Misbah [-ul-Haq]. I need to discover ways to play all three codecs and what mindset to method all three codecs with. I am very enthusiastic about how a lot I can develop over these subsequent three months.
“Once I moved up from U-19 to the PSL, the coaches, Shoaib Malik, and Kamran Akmal gave me loads of inspiration. They mentioned it’s primarily the identical cricket, nothing too troublesome. The coaches informed me to not be scared, and to make the perfect use of my skills. And so I performed my pure recreation and fortunately the performances adopted. Even on the England tour, we’ve got legends for coaches and I look ahead to following their recommendation, and hopefully it really works out for me.”
That Haider made his desire for a top-order function evident might put some further stress on Fakhar Zaman, who presently occupies that slot within the Pakistan T20I facet alongside Babar Azam. Zaman has struggled for consistency over the previous two years and has held onto that opening slot for lack of an applicable substitute greater than anything. Haider, nevertheless, insisted that he was joyful to fill in wherever given the prospect for now.
“The followers and crowd cannot be there, so we’ve got to deal with the situations. The place I bat is as much as our administration. My function is to provide my greatest the place I’m assigned to bat. Some gamers can play within the prime order and battle decrease down. At membership degree, I can play each up or down the order. I would wish to bat increased up, however retain the pliability to do a job the place I am required. I am very excited. For England, my private prep is full. At any time when I get the prospect, I am going to give my greatest and hopefully make a contribution to the group.”
He additionally mirrored on the third anniversary of Pakistan’s victory over India within the 2017 Champions Trophy remaining, saying it birthed in him a need to be part of the Pakistan facet and luxuriate in its highs. “I needed to symbolize Pakistan at that second. It was an unbelievable feeling. Once we play in opposition to India, it is rather essential, and the very fact Pakistan gained in such a one-sided match was a really unbelievable feeling.”
Final yr, after Pakistan limped to an 89-run defeat in opposition to India on the World Cup in England, Sharma, who had scored a century, was requested what ideas he had for Pakistan’s batsmen. “If in the future I turn into coach of Pakistan, I am going to inform them,” he had replied. “What shall I inform them proper now?”
No matter he has to say, there’s not less than one participant in Pakistan’s facet who’ll pay attention with rapt consideration.