Pitted as the next big thing in Pakistan cricket, 18-year-old Haider Ali picked world No 1 T20I batsman Babar Azam over India skipper Virat Kohli.

“A batsman can never become like his role models but can improve himself and develop shots like they play. I want to improve myself to the extent that people call me Babar Azam and not Kohli because Babar has good shots,” Haider said in a video on YouTube as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.

The Peshawar Zalmi cricketer had a phenomenal Pakistan Super League (PSL) scoring 239 runs at a strike rate of 159. The Attock-born was also a part of Pakistan’s U19 squad for the 2020 World Cup in South Africa.

On the other hand, hailing Kohli’s exquisite shots, the youngster expressed his desire to emulate some. “I cannot become Kohli but can develop shots like him through practice. I’m Haider Ali so I can only become Haider Ali,” he said.

Thanking Azam for helping him throughout the PSL, Ali recalls how the Pskistan premier batsman passed batting tips.

“I met Babar Azam during the first-class tournament and he gave me tips regarding my batting. We also get to learn a lot from him in the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. He also supported me during PSL by boosting my confidence and advising me to keep scoring runs and leave the rest to Allah Almighty,” Haider added.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, PSL is suspended, whereas the Indian Premier League (IPL), which was supposed to start from March 29 has been postponed and a call would be taken tomorrow.