Shahzad aims to follow in Bresnan's footsteps

Ajmal Shahzad is only five months younger than Tim Bresnan but still looks up to his pathfinder for Yorkshire and now England. When Shahzad was left out of the NatWest Series squad last week, four days after his successful Test debut, it was because his fellow all-rounder Bresnan had made a quicker-than-expected recovery from a foot injury.

Shahzad is to get his shot after all at the mid-summer one-day internationals against Australia – called up to cover for seamer Ryan Sidebottom, another native Yorkshireman, who has suffered a hamstring injury. With only 13 available, Shahzad may yet be about to play in the same England team as 25-year-old Bresnan – although it is a moot point whether there will often be room in the XI for two players who offer England similarly brawny all-round skills.

Yet even if they do end up vying for one place, Shahzad insists his admiration for Bresnan will be unaffected. "Bres has been around England longer than me, and he takes me under his wing," says Shahzad, having joined the England squad yesterday in preparation for an ODI against Scotland in Edinburgh and then the NatWest Series. "I looked up to him when I was coming through for Yorkshire – because I saw myself as similar, a vibrant character who hits the ball hard and bowls at good pace. I've seen what he's done and I just want to follow in his footsteps. It's good to chat to him, and he looks after me."

Shahzad remains happy to defer to Bresnan's seniority. "There's definitely no hard feelings when he's playing in front of me – because he's shown against the best opposition he's very good at that level. If I get my chance to play in the same team as him he can help me."

Bresnan has had to prove himself twice over with many of the uninitiated, unable to see past their own pre-conceptions of what a 14-stone Yorkshireman may be able to do on a cricket pitch. Shahzad had weighty issues of his own a decade or so ago, but soon wised up to how to make the most of his potential. "When I was younger I was quite a big lad. I just used to eat a lot of food, and not do a lot of training," he says. "Then I got involved in sport, and the penny dropped – knowing that to push on I needed to sort my lifestyle out."

That self-discipline has helped to take him as far as one Test and one ODI cap so far. His hunger now is for many more – but Shahzad accepts at present he is an understudy. "My Test debut went quite well. I personally think it could have gone better for me, if I'd worked a little bit harder on my batting. If I get a game [in the ODI series] I hope I can show what I've got to offer again."

Shahzad's international ambition is not limited to any format, and England have already demonstrated they too see him as an "all-round" all-rounder – having picked him in their five-day, one-day and 20-over squads. "I hope I get more Tests and I'm not a one-Test wonder. But all I can do is show to the selectors and coaches what I've got – and then keep building on what I started. I've never wanted to be seen as just a Test or just a one-day bowler. I see myself playing all forms of the game. I'm learning fast and enjoying every minute."

New experiences are coming thick and fast off the pitch too – but only because of cricket. When Shahzad was selected in the squad for the first Test at Lord's, it was his first time in London. If he plays against Scotland it will be his first match in Edinburgh – although he was once 12th man for Yorkshire there. He is looking forward to a few more maiden voyages too.

"Cricket is taking me to all places. I'd never been to the West Indies or Bangladesh until I went with England. I hope if I keep working hard I can keep travelling round with the England boys."

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
music
News
Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'