Babar Azam was not in good touch during the T20 World Cup.© AFP
The Pakistan cricket team was all but out of the 2022 T20 World Cup after starting the tournament with two losses, when a couple of results went in their favour and it revived its form to advance to the last-four stage. The Babar Azam-led side then defeated New Zealand in the semi-final before going down in the title clash to England. In the final, Pakistan scored 137/8 batting first but then their bowlers gave a tough fight to the Jos Buttler-led England. Ultimately, England won the game by five wickets and lifted the T20 World Cup trophy.
One thing that stood out in the tournament was Babar Azam’s lean patch. Barring a 53 against New Zealand in the semi-final, Babar was not in good touch. In the first four matches of the T20 World Cup, he was out for single-digit scores. In the final he scored 32.
Former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria criticised the batter for being adamant to only open the innings and not coming down the order.
“Babar Azam is stubborn. The same happened when he was with Karachi Kings too. Their management did not want him to play as opener. But he was adamant to open because he cannot bat in the middle order. Don’t know why Babar doesn’t want to play in the middle-order. Babar’s stubbornness is only doing harm to Pakistani cricket. If Rizwan performs, then Babar also bats well. Babar starts his innings on a very slow note,” Kaneria said in a video on his YouTube channel.
He also gave the reference of former India skipper Virat Kohli. “When it comes to being selfless, there is no one like Virat Kohli. The team lost the World Cup under his captaincy, and he had to face criticism. He even lost his captaincy. Many raised questions about his place in the team. But he didn’t give up. He gave his full support to the new captain and played at the number he asked him to. He has re-emerged with his form since the Asia Cup,” he said.
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