Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan captain Babar Azam revealed that India skipper Virat Kohli told him to treat net sessions as seriously as a match.
Azam admitted that he used to play in the nets “with a casual mind” until he had a chat with Kohli.
The 26-year-old added that he can’t afford to get out to “rash shots” in the nets as it could end up happening in an actual game as well.
“Previously, I used to play [in the] nets with a casual mind but slowly I overcame this. I understood that if I am not taking my sessions seriously, how can I perform in matches?” he told Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq in a video for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as quoted by ARY Sports.
“In this regard, I once talked to Virat Kohli and he told me to take net sessions as seriously as matches. If you get out and play rash shots in [the] nets, subsequently you will do the same in a match.
“His advice helped me and now I don’t get [satisfied] with my batting [in the] nets. If my net session doesn’t go well, I am disturbed throughout the day.”
Azam made scores of 103, 31 and 94 in the three-match ODI series against South Africa, giving him a total of 228 runs at an average of 76.
As for the T20 series, he made 14 and 50 in the first two matches before hammering a career-best 122, which came off 59 balls and included 15 boundaries and four sixes, in the third T20 International.
In the fourth game, he was dismissed for 24 and thus finished with 210 runs in four matches at an average of 52.50 and a strike-rate of 143.83.
Pakistan’s tour of Zimbabwe started on Wednesday and Azam scored two runs in the first T20 International, which the men in green won by 11 runs.