Virat Kohli celebrates his Test century against West Indies (Image: AP)
Virat Kohli's cricketing journey is marked by an exceptional track record as a batsman, solidifying his position as one of the foremost cricketers in the world today. With an insatiable hunger for runs and an unwavering commitment to his craft, Kohli has consistently set new benchmarks in the realm of batting. His ability to adapt to different formats of the game, from Tests to ODIs and T20s, showcases his versatility and mastery.
Former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal holds the belief that Saud Shakeel has the potential to attain the stature of players like Virat Kohli and Babar Azam in the upcoming years. Although his ODI experience comprises only five matches, Saud Shakeel's standout performances in Tests have secured him a spot in Pakistan's ODI squad for the upcoming Bangladesh series.
“I am looking at Saud from a different angle. I am considering him in the league, which includes big names like Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, and other five to six players,” Akmal was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
“He [Saud] should be reaching near these players in the next three to four years – given the performance he has showcased, particularly when the circumstances were difficult," he added.
“So, this is a good sign for Pakistan cricket when any batsman displays excellent batting performance, that too at an early age in early Test cricket,” Akmal said.
Saud Shakeel, who made a strong impression during the recent Test series in Sri Lanka, has earned a spot in the 18-man squad for the ODIs against Afghanistan. However, he hasn't been included in the 17-member team for the upcoming 50-over Asia Cup, which is scheduled to be held in Pakistan and Sri Lanka from August 31 to September 17.
Notably, Saud Shakeel became the first Pakistani batter to achieve a double hundred in Sri Lanka. In the seven Tests he has played since his debut in December 2022, he boasts impressive statistics: a double century, a century, and six half-centuries, all contributing to an exceptional average of 87.50.