Shoaib Ali waves the Bangladesh flag in Uppal yesterday. Pic/Subodh Mayure

Hyderabad: It is not common for cricketers to be inspired by other willow wielders. But it's rare for a fan to be motivated by another enthusiast. This is exactly the case with Shoaib Ali, the die-hard Bangladeshi fan, who is inspired by India's Sudhir Gautam. Nicknamed 'Tiger', the 29-year-old Dhaka resident is in Hyderabad to cheer for his team in their first Test match in India.'

“I practised waving the Bangladesh flag by watching Sudhir. It's a tough job because my hands pain, but the desire to do something different to encourage our players keeps me going. Gautam helped me a lot during our few meetings,” Shoaib told mid-day yesterday. Though Shoaiband Gautam are good friends, they will 'oppose' each other behind the boundary ropes today. Shoaib has been a regular supporter of his national team since 2012.

Sudhir has predicted a three-day Test. “It's going to be a three-day affair because India are the No. 1 Test team and I am confident Virat Kohli will lead us to a comfortable win here,” he said. Realising the limitations of his team, Shoaib said: “It's very tough to beat India in India, but even if we draw this Test, it will be as good as a victory for us. Whatever the circumstances, I am going to cheer my players to perform well.”