Australian batsman heaped praised on wicketkeeper’s leadership qualities
NOTE: The author is a journalist at Cricket Pakistan and tweets at @zaidhassan89
Australian batsman Jake Weatherald is excited about playing alongside and learning from Sarfaraz Ahmed in the upcoming HBL PSL 6, calling the Quetta Gladiators captain 'a very animated character’ who wants the best for the team.
Weatherald was picked by Quetta Gladiators along with Australian all-rounder Jack Wildermuth after Ben Cutting withdrew from the competition.
While speaking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, the left-hander said that it will be a great opportunity to pick up the brain of someone like Sarfaraz, who has had great success as a captain in international cricket.
“He [Sarfaraz] looks like a very animated character, which is awesome for the team. He is someone who leads by example. Obviously, I have had a chat with some of the international players that have played against him and have had conversations with him. They all have said that he is an awesome person and someone that you can approach and wants the best for the team. I think that is something that I really value in a captain,” Weatherald said.
“I have watched him play Test cricket and do amazingly well. I have also watched that Champions Trophy final match, when they won it. It is pretty amazing that I will get to rub shoulders with someone, who has been there and done it against some of the best in the world and also led Pakistani team to some great success. I am still young, so I will try to learn from him and ask questions about how he led his team to success. He will be a really cool person to be around and I am really excited to potentially play with him but also just to talk to him,” he added.
Weatherald became the first batsman to score a century in a Big Bash final against the Hobart Hurricanes at Adelaide Oval in 2018. The left-hander had a brilliant BBL season this year, as he scored 433 runs at a healthy strike-rate of 141, while batting at different positions in the batting order during the competition.
The 26-year-old will enjoy the prospect of batting in the top-order for Gladiators. However, he is also comfortable in adjusting to the team requirements.
“Opening the batting is something I am comfortable doing, so if I get an opportunity to bat there, it will be great. I am also happy to bat in the middle-order if Quetta wants to bat someone else up the order. During the Big Bash, I batted in both scenarios and did quite well in both of them. I am pretty comfortable batting at any position,” he said.
Weatherald will be seeking inspiration from Australian legendary all-rounder, Shane Watson, who played an integral part for Quetta Gladiators, when they won their maiden PSL title in 2019.
“Shane Watson is a legend of the game. He has been awesome for the Australian team and all the franchises that he has played for. If I can do half of what he has done in his career, I think we will do very well to win a few games,” he concluded.