Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad may not be the fittest player in the sport, but he pointed out that he doesn’t have any intentions of following a diet similar to that of India captain Virat Kohli.
While Shahzad feels that he doesn’t need to take a page out of Kohli’s book when it comes to dieting, he insisted that he is working on shedding some of the extra pounds.
“I work a lot on my fitness but I don’t compromise on food,” he told PTI as quoted by The New Indian Express. “You want me to have a fitness routine like Kohli, it is not possible, but I am working on it (losing weight).
“I can hit bigger sixes than Kohli so why do I need to follow his diet? My coach (Phil Simmons) knows that I can keep for 50 overs and bat for 50 overs. I have never seen it (weight) as an issue.”
The 30-year-old also revealed that he has a good rapport with many Indian cricketers, including MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina.
“I try to hit it like Dhoni,” he said. “It is always nice to catch up with the Indian cricketers. They are very warm. I have always looked up to Dhoni and now I have the pleasure of knowing him.
“I have played against India three-four times and after the match gets over, I have dropped in at Dhoni’s room and chatted for hours. He usually asks me ‘what’s happening in Afghanistan’ and at my home. We don’t tend to talk a lot about wicket-keeping and batting, it is just regular stuff about life. His room is always open for a chat but yes, it is tough to reach him on his mobile number.
“Even Suresh and Shikhar bhai are very warm people.”
On June 14, history will be made as Afghanistan will play their first-ever Test match, which will come against India in Bangalore.
Expressing his excitement about the match, Shahzad said: “It will be some occasion. Earlier, the goal was to qualify for the World Cup. We have done that and now it is all about the Test against India.”
There is a possibility Kohli could miss the fixture as he has signed a county deal with Surrey. When asked about this, Shahzad admitted that the occasion will be a lot bigger if Kohli is playing.
“It will be more fun and challenging if he plays,” he said. “If he is not there, it will be a problem for India’s batting, we have no issues. But we would want to watch him play.”