Fast rising as one of the best all-format batsmen of the world, Pakistan captain Babar Azam said he idolises Mohammed Yousuf and enjoyed to watch the former Pakistan right-handed batsman play.
Azam, who has been recently appointed as Pakistan’s captain in all three formats, said Yousuf had a lot of time to play the ball.
“My idol is Mohammad Yousuf. He was such a classy player. He had all the time in the world to play the ball. I always enjoyed watching him bat,” Azam told Sportstar.
Yousuf retired after representing Pakistan in 90 Tests, 288 ODIs, and 3 T20Is. He scored 7530 runs in Tests at an average of 52.29 and 9720 runs in ODIs at an average of 41.72.
Azam’s free-flowing strokeplay and a simple, traditional technique have often earned him comparisons with India captain Virat Kohli, who is currently regarded as a stalwart in all three formats of the game.
When Azam was asked about the comparisons with Kohli, the stylish right-hander said he takes it as a compliment and uses it to keep higher benchmarks for himself.
“I know. It does feel nice that you are compared to some very good players in the game. My mindset is that I challenge myself. I set myself targets. I set myself benchmarks. I have to win matches for Pakistan. And win matches which help the team. Comparisons with big players also help you to set goals that match those of the big players. If your name figures in the top five of the world it is obviously a nice feeling. It also means that you have to keep performing to those standards and that boosts your confidence too. I like it,” he said
Azam may be known more his exploits in white-ball as of now but he wants to be admired more as a Test cricketer in future. “I would love to be known as a good red-ball cricketer,” he added.