“In my life, the player with the highest levels of concentration and focus I have seen is Younis bhai,” Rizwan told cricwick.net. “So No. 1 is Younis bhai. After that, it was Fawad Alam but now Pujara is No. 2 and Fawad Alam No. 3.”
“I try to find out what makes these three guys so good in terms of their focus and concentration,” Rizwan said. “I keep talking to Younis bhai about this. With Fawad, I haven’t talked a lot about this.
“With Pujara, I had a chat when I had just come to England and got out a couple of times. He told me a few things that you should play close to your body. Now it is no secret that we play a lot of white-ball cricket and there we play well away from the body because the white-ball doesn’t swing or seam much and you are always looking for runs.
“So here, I got out chasing a couple of wide deliveries early on. Then I sought him out at the nets and he said, ‘in Pakistan or in Asia, we are accustomed to forcing our drives. You cannot force your drives over here. Secondly, you have to play closer to your body.'”
It’s a rare occasion for an India international and a Pakistan international to represent the same team, but Rizwan said that it didn’t feel “strange” at all. He also said that outside the international arena the group of cricketers from other countries are all part of a “larger family” who are looking to help each other get better at cricket.
“Believe me, I haven’t felt strange at all about it [playing alongside Pujara]. I even joke around with him and also tease him a lot. He is a very nice person and his concentration and focus are unreal. If you can learn something from someone else, you must take that opportunity.
“The cricket fraternity is like a family for us. But if you are playing for Pakistan and your own brother is playing for Australia, then you will, of course, try to get him out because you are playing for your country. But that fight happens only on the ground. Otherwise, we are like a family. If I say ‘our Virat Kohli’, then I will not be wrong. Or ‘our Pujara’, ‘our Smith’ or ‘our Root’, because we all are one family.