‘Of course there is pressure’: Ahmed Shehzad on comparisons with Virat Kohli
Ahmed Shehzad, the batsman from Pakistan has revealed it wasn’t easy for him to prosper as a batsman due to the comparison people made between him and Virat Kohli. Shehzad and Kohli came through the ranks at nearly the same time, and this may surprise you, but the Pakistan opener had a better start to Test cricket as compared to Kohli. After 13 Tests, Shehzad scored 982 runs at an average of 40.91 with three centuries, while Kohli had 788 at an average of 35.81.
But that is where it all began going downhill for Shehzad. After battling inconsistent form, Shehzad failed a dope test in 2018 and was slapped with a four-month ban, which was further extended by six weeks after the batsman violated the rules and played club cricket matches. He was selected in Pakistan’s T20I squad for a three-match series against Sri Lanka in 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 Cricingif.
Shahzad, who last played an ODI and Test in 2017, indirectly blamed the Pakistan team management for holding him back, saying the reason he could not flourish was due to the lack of support from the board and captain.
“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.”