Bangladesh v Pakistan, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur March 30, 2014

Shehzad dedicates ton to critics


Ahmed Shehzad, the first Pakistan batsman to make a T20 century, has dedicated his knock to all those who have criticised him, as well as to those who have admired him. Shehzad said people had started writing him off too early after two failures against India and Australia in the World T20, and that he was proud to have achieved such a landmark under pressure. Pakistan, by virtue of their 50-run rout of Bangladesh, have set up a virtual quarter-final against West Indies on Tuesday.

Shehzad appeared to be in the mood for retribution, as his first answer was not exactly related to what he had been asked - how had some batsmen such as him, Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell been able to perform in conditions where several others had struggled to score freely.

"To be very honest, I have been listening to so many things after the last two games," Shehzad said. "This is what happens in cricket. When you don't play good in couple of games, (there is) pressure on you. But this is when you have to show your character.

"I backed myself and the coaches and the captain [had faith in me]. I would like to thank whoever supported me. I was sticking to my game plan. Wasn't trying to do anything extra but that was my aim: to pick up the bowlers first and make sure I go after them.

"Very proud because before coming here, that was my aim - that in the pool games itself, I need to make a century," he said. "To become the first Pakistani player to have a century in all three formats. Feel proud. (Want to dedicate it) to all those who criticised me and those who love me. It is for all those people who have said anything about me - good, bad, whoever it is. It is my gift to them, it is my gift to the entire Pakistan, for people outside as well."

Shehzad continued to hit out at his critics, saying people should not draw conclusions about a player on the basis of one or two innings. He also added that his unbeaten 98 in Zimbabwe last year had given him confidence that he could make a T20 hundred some day. "In Harare, I like that innings because I had not secured my ODI position. I was on a comeback. To score an innings like that at that time, that gave me a lot of happiness. Yes, I did miss a hundred but I felt that I have got this close, I can achieve more than that as well.

"Today, when I was 70-odd, Shoaib Malik was batting with me, he said you can comfortably make a hundred. This is what the plan was, that I bat through 20 overs, the captain's message came that you play 20 overs and let the rest bat around you. What happens in T20 is that one or two individuals perform. Whoever is set, it is important to anchor the innings and take the rest with him. This is what I tried today which happened. This is something that doesn't happen every day.

"Unfortunately, we must all understand that T20 is the kind of format where the margin of error for the bowlers is very less but the batsman must also try a lot of different things because of which he can be out as well. It is important for everyone to understand that you should not judge a player on the basis of one or two innings. The team is selected on an individual's abilities and his past performances."

Having said what he wanted to in the presence of his captain, Shehzad then strode out with a smile, sharing a high-five with Mohammad Hafeez.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rashmi on April 1, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    Whom R U Going to Dedicate Your Golden Duck against the Windies ???

  • Muhammad on March 31, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    Very well played. But please don't disappoint in next games in world t20 where your runs will count even more.

  • nabeel on March 31, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    Lot of people think that he has resemblance with Virat Kohli. I agree with physical resemblance and there is no harm emulating Virat in performance.

    One should pick good things from a player but he seems copying Virat's bad temerament as well. Be humble and down to earth personality as a player such as Tendulkar& Dravid.

  • piyush on March 31, 2014, 9:45 GMT

    Give him time and don't just jump on him after failures. He is young... just 22/23years... Its a simple rule that was applied on Kohli and same should be done with Shehzad... He just lack some consistency otherwise he has got all the ingredients of a world class player.... I like his attitude... He resembles a young Kohli....... Shehzad will get better with time......

  • sahir on March 31, 2014, 4:25 GMT

    Very well played buddy. Bt don't think you have conquered the world already and be humble even when you are on top. That's exactly people like Sachin, Dravid, Inzi, Yousuf, Younis,Anwar did.

  • mohammad on March 31, 2014, 3:39 GMT

    Next test against West Indies, and real test against Indian bowlers who are not giving away runs. Let us see how those work out. Best of luck.

  • Dummy4 on March 31, 2014, 3:08 GMT

    indeed one of the talents of Pakistan cricket along with Umar Akmal. Brilliant innings hope he can score big against the windies. Pakistan looking good at the moment

  • Android on March 31, 2014, 1:24 GMT

    He can improve more if he show consistency in his batting and fielding.. yeah he is also a good fielder. I am really happy that he became the first Pakistani to make a century in T20 tournaments.

  • Dummy on March 31, 2014, 0:19 GMT

    Ok dude calm down, every sportsman has critics, part of the game, let your run scoring do the talking and not your mouth.. Lets see u score well against windies n make impact in huge game!!

    Please drop akmal, missed stumping,wasted deliveries and got out playing a daft shot. This guy k akmal can only perform in friendly matches! Get rid ASAP n make umar keep!!

  • Inam on March 30, 2014, 23:49 GMT

    I think he played well, Very like Kohli, i love to see him cut down on reckless shots and play on merit of ball, even in T20 he played gracious innings, Pakistan need Sharjeel Back at top of order he gives you quick 25-30 and Shehzad hold the innings at other end, If Malik is not going to bowl i am not sure why he is in team. Kamran Akmal is also not not needed, these players have not done much in the win any way.

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