Pakistan captain Babar Azam is one of the best players going around in present-day cricket, however, his strike rate is always a point of debate when one talks about the shortest format of the game. Babar is ranked at No.3 spot in T20I rankings, however, he has often been criticised for his strike-rate when he comes out to open the batting alongside Mohammad Rizwan. Earlier this month, former Pakistan pacer Aaqib Javed had taken a dig at Babar, saying whenever his side came up against Karachi Kings which Babar leads in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), they never tried to dismiss Babar because of the pace at which he bats.
Ahead of the seven-match T20I series, Babar was asked about Javed’s comment, and he went on to say there shouldn’t be “personal attacks”, and he does not pay attention to the outside chatter.
“He might think that. Everyone has their own point of view. Everyone has their own opinion, we do not listen to them. We don’t bring the outside chatter inside the dressing room. Everyone has their point of view, you can talk about things, but as players you have also witnessed all this in sport. Every player has gone through it, there is so much pressure and responsibility. There shouldn’t be personal attacks, it isn’t just about me, I am talking about the entire team. You can have normal discussion, we do not listen to what people are saying. It doesn’t matter,” said Babar during a press conference.
Earlier, Aaqib Javed had come out to make a strong statement on Babar Azam and his strike rate in T20Is. Javed claimed that in big chases, having Babar and Mohammad Rizwan can be detrimental for Pakistan as they are similar players and they tend to let the required run-rate go too high. Javed, who is the Director of Cricket for Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), also said that the team selection for the T20 World Cup is still “doubtful”, especially raising questions about the batting composition.
“When you knew that the World Cup was happening, and even today, the selection is doubtful. Because they should have done this six or eight months back, that this is our squad of 20 players. And there’s a reasoning for that,” Javed told Sports Paktv.
“You have openers, no.3, middle order, lower middle order… you should know what your batting composition is. If someone gets out early, who can come and consolidate, build a little and then score quickly later on… I don’t see anyone like that in the team. And that has become the mindset that we have to keep these two openers. The two openers are effective, but where? For scores under 150-160. They are suitable for that,” Javed had said.
“When we play against Karachi and we have a total of 180 or so, we have never tried too hard or wanted too badly to get Babar Azam out. Because he plays at his own pace and the required rate keeps increasing. Rizwan is also similar. No doubt he played very well in the PSL, but when these two play together, then you have two performers of the same type,” he added.
Topics mentioned in this article