Home > Features > Interviews >

Virat Kohli’s aggressive attitude is amazing, says Imam-ul-Haq

Imam-ul-Haq believes he needs to work on his game against the spinners © Getty Images
Imam-ul-Haq believes he needs to work on his game against the spinners © Getty Images

Pakistan under-19 batsman Imam-ul-Haq speaks to Nishad Pai Vaidya about his game, uncle Inzamam’s influence and the challenges that lie ahead.

When you are related to one of the greatest batsmen you country has produced, the pressure would be immense if you adopt the same trade. But Imam-ul-Haq, Inzamam’s nephew, says that he and his famous uncle are two different personalities. So far, Imam has made a name at the under-19 level, finishing as the second highest run-getter at the ICC Under-19 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. His uncle Inzamam-ul-Haq is certainly an inspiration, but is also a calming influence. “He is right handed, I am left-handed, but he is a calm personality. He always gives me confidence and tells me to enjoy my game. If you love cricket, you will really enjoy. He makes me feel comfortable so that I don’t feel the pressure of his name,” says Imam.

At the Under-19 World Cup, Imam was one of Pakistan’s main players as he scored 382 runs with a ton and two fifties. And, he scored a crucial 82 in the quarter-final to take them through to the next round as they worked their way to the final. It was a big victory, for Imam was a part of the team that lost to India in the quarter-final in 2012. “The two World Cups I played for Pakistan, it is an honour for me. My performance has been good and I was the second highest run-getter in this world cup. But, if the team loses (in the final), it feels very bad. We have been a good team and with our coach and manager, we have worked hard. I’ll miss them all as that was my last match of my under-19 career,” Imam says.

It wasn’t easy for Imam to play through the last two games of the tournament. He injured his hamstring during the semi-final and somehow managed to score 29. He did manage to play the final against South Africa, but is now out for a month of rest. Imam says, “Yes it was tough. I scored 29 despite being injured during the semi-finals. I felt proud that I scored 29. I was feeling uncomfortable in the middle,  but I told myself that I have to bat for my country. I will take rest. Thank god, it isn’t a serious injury. I’d like to mention my physio, who really helped me through this.”

But now is the time to look forward to the challenges that lay ahead. Imam was one of the few players in the Pakistan side who played First-Class cricket. He made three appearances and did manage to record a fifty, an experience that served him well at the junior level. He says his coach there taught him to absorb pressure and play according to situations. “It is a challenge for me. If you have to get into the Pakistan team, you have to score runs in First-Class cricket. It is not easy. Everyone knows that there are good bowlers, experienced ones. The pitches aren’t very good for the batsmen. The ball does seam around, but you have to be prepared for it. It helped me in my under-19 career. Those three games gave me a good experience,” Imam believes.

Imam says that he is comfortable against the fast bowlers. Batting upfront for Pakistan under-19, he often looked untroubled against the pacers and drove them well. However, he believes he has to work on playing the spinners and wants to iron out the wrinkles in his game. “I love challenges. But, I will work harder. I will want to work on my mistakes and become better. After two months, West Indies A is coming to Dubai. I am hopeful of being in the Pakistan A team.”

Imam needn’t look too far for an idol, but he does like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Kohli rose from the under-19 World Cup and is today India’s vice-captain. He is certainly one player who will inspire him. “I really like Virat Kohli, for his aggressive attitude. His seriousness towards the game is amazing,” he says.

But Imam maintains that there is a toil that lies ahead and he is ready to put in the hard yards once he makes a comeback after injury. “If you work harder, it shows your commitment and that tells how much you love this game. I don’t want to be left without cricket,” Imam sums it up.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI

Videos

Australia perpare for 1st Test against Pakistan

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test in Dubai Preview: Motivated Pakistan look to hurt rusty Australia

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

A Pakistan all-time XI: A galaxy of captains

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia 2014 Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 at Dubai

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 at Dubai

Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 at Dubai

WICB seek meeting with BCCI to minimise damage

AB de Villiers: What gets me going is finishing games for the team

Australia’s best opportunity to bury ghosts of playing on spinning track

Duleep Trophy Semi-Final, Central Zone vs North Zone: Players to watch out for

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Quinton de Kock equals wicketkeeping record with six catches in South Africa vs New Zealand 1st ODI

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Boyfriend Vs. Parents — Call In The Referee ‘Paging Pri’

AB de Villiers: What gets me going is finishing games for the team

Luke Ronchi seeks consistency ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Drink ginger tea to relieve a migraine naturally

Allocate spectrum to telcos within 90 days after payment: Panel

How BMI and BMR play a role in weight loss

Bigg Boss 8 Highlights: Sonali Raut’s double standards; Puneet Issar’s aggressive avatar

Box Cricket League 2014: All you need to know about the sports reality show

Indian Painting Exhibit Kicks off at Quebec City

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here