Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Pakistan batsman Usman Salahuddin, who will make his Test debut in the second Test against England at Headingley on Friday, has revealed that the batsmen he looks up to are Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam-ul-Haq, who is Pakistan’s chief selector and a former captain.
Salahuddin was given the nod ahead of Fakhar Zaman to replace the injured Babar Azam, who has returned to Pakistan after fracturing his forearm in the first Test at Lord’s, which Pakistan won by nine wickets.
In addition to Inzamam and Yousuf, who are third and fourth respectively on Pakistan’s list of all-time leading run-scorers in Test cricket, Salahuddin also admitted that he is a big fan of Azam, Asad Shafiq and India captain Virat Kohli.
“I was inspired by many players but personally I like Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam-ul-Haq,” he was quoted as saying by The Nation. “I follow Asad Shafiq in this team and Babar Azam and also like Virat Kohli.”
Salahuddin has played for Pakistan in the past as he represented his country in two ODIs back in 2011. In the seven years that have past, the 27-year-old insisted that he continued developing his game as he was confident that he would be recalled to the national team at some point in the future.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “The win was great and the kind of hard work the team did and the management, we were destined to perform, so I will try to do my best. No doubt, it’s a great moment for me. It’s everyone’s dream to play Test [cricket] for Pakistan.
“Cricket is such a game where you don’t have to get discouraged. The team management did not let me go down, they gave me so much practice and backed me.”
The Lahore native added that he is accustomed to the conditions in England since he played league cricket in Newcastle.
“I played in the premier league in Newcastle and scored 69 not out so no doubt I have the experience of playing in these conditions,” he said. “I will play according to the situation. I will play my natural game and Insha’Allah do well. “I think you have to play late because conditions help swing and don’t drive much, you must wait for the bad ball and that’s my strategy.”
When asked what his ultimate goal is, Salahuddin said: “I want to play for long, not for one match and relax. I want to match Younis Khan’s 10,000 runs. I want to follow Inzamam and play long for Pakistan.”