Former Australia batsman Dean Jones has urged Pakistan cricketers to follow Indian ace batsman Virat Kohli’s example if they aim to put up consistent performances for their country.
Kohli has been India’s standout performer since his debut in 2008 and has played match-winning knocks on numerous occasions.
The right hander is also one of the fittest athletes around and has drawn comparisons with the likes of Tennis star Novak Djokovic by his trainers as far as fitness is concerned.
“Kohli is the level that the Pakistani cricketers like Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq need to get to,” said Jones in an interview to cricket news website.
“Just look at the example of Virat Kohli. He’s lifting 150kg weights. The guy has a body fat of less than 8%.
“They [Pakistanis] should work on their fielding aspects and their attitude to every aspect of their game,” added the Islamabad United coach.
Jones said that Pakistani cricketers need to take care of their bodies and consider it as ‘their temple’.
The cricketer-turned commentator believed that turning to consulting coaches was not enough for the Pakistan players to rectify the problems they face during their career.
“These boys cannot just rely on the likes of Wasim Akram or myself, or other coaches telling them what to do, they need to sit down and work it out for themselves,” he said.
“I don’t believe too many Pakistani cricketers are athletes.”
Jones, who unsuccessfully applied for the Pakistan head coach position which was later filled by South African Mickey Arthur, was confident that the Pakistan bowlers will dominate in their upcoming four-match Test series against England.
However, the 55-year-old believed that blunders in the slip squadron can frustrate Pakistan like it did during the 2010 tour.
“I think the Pakistani bowlers will do very well but they need the support of the slip fielders and that could be a problem,” said Jones.
For Jones, the experience of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan in the middle of a vulnerable Pakistan batting line will be a crucial factor.
“The Pakistani batsmen will need to play the ball late and will be relying heavily on Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq to get the runs and it could be a very interesting series if one of the veterans for Pakistan has a good series with the bat,” he said.
Pakistan take on England in the first Test match set to be played at Lord’s in London from July 14.
The national side will go on to play three more Tests, five ODIs and a one-off T20 fixture in the tour which continues till early September.