Pakistan cricketer Ahmed Shehzad has revealed that it was not easy for him to make progress as a batsman because of the comparison people made between him and Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
Shehzad and Virat came to the scene at nearly the same time, and this may shock you, but Shehzad had a better start to his career as compared to Virat Kohli. After 31 Tests, the Pakistani opener scored 982 runs at an average of 40.91 which included three centuries, while the Indian skipper had 788 runs at an average of 35.81.
But, that is where it all started going down for Ahmed Shehzad. After standing up to lack of consistenc, Shehzad failed a dope test and was banned for four months in 2018, which was further extended by six weeks after he violated the rules and took part in club cricket games. He was picked for Pakistan’s T20I squad for a series against Sri Lankain December, where he scored 4 and 13.
“Of course, there is pressure due to comparisons. We tend to compare two players without focussing on their respective backgrounds. For any player to succeed, it requires the backing of the coach, captain and cricket board. In short, he or she needs confidence in order to do well,” Shehzad told.
The Pakistani opener, who last featured in an ODI and Test in 2017, indirectly held Pakistan team management responsible for holding hime back, stating that the reason he could not do well was because of the lack of support from the board and skipper.
“Unless and until a player is given required support and a longer rope, his or her confidence won’t increase. Then, they tend to fight for survival,” he said.
“If you look at the backgrounds of Virat, Rohit Sharma, Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Babar Azam, they have been really lucky as well. Kohli had revealed that he was going to be dropped from plenty of series but MS Dhoni backed him. Same was the case with Rohit Sharma. Thus, faith was instilled upon them by Dhoni.”