Srinagar: Pakistan rising star Saud Shakeel has hailed skipper Babar Azam’s influence on his game and termed batting with No.1 ODI batter as fun.
“It is great fun when batting with Babar Azam, he’s a world-class player,” said Saud in an interview with Cricwick.
“If you see he is the top batsman in the world right now. I think he has incredible knowledge of the game and even if you are at the non-striker’s end, you can learn a lot by just watching,” he said.
“The best part about him is that he is always willing to guide, whenever you ask him for help, he comes and gives us practice in the nets. He can hit boundaries on good deliveries which is why he is the best and it is always a great learning opportunity”.
“While batting, I normally don’t talk a lot but he is the complete opposite. Then I learnt that when you speak, you remain more active in the ground and when batting, he can give you few pointers which are very useful and you get out of that moment. He is always backing everyone and this what you want from you senior players.”
Saud is the only batter in the history of the game to score at least a half-century in the first seven Tests.
No Pakistan batter has averaged 87.50 after his first seven Tests. And, his 208 not out at Galle – that delivered Pakistan a famous win in July – is the highest score by a Pakistani in Sri Lanka.
However, a stern challenge will be presented to the left-hander when he tours Australia later this year for a three-match Test series.
“The Australia tour is almost six months away, I haven’t toured Australia before and I have very little idea how the pitches behave there,” said Saud.
“However, I have spoken to Babar bhai and Rizwan and they say if you get set there, it is a wonderful place to bat. So I will prepare for that accordingly and back my game plan for those conditions.