Aakash Chopra questioned why Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam are being blamed for Pakistan’s exit from the 2024 T20 World Cup, noting that their conservative batting style in T20Is was well-known.

Pakistan was eliminated from the T20 World Cup 2024 after the USA’s game against Ireland in Lauderhill, Florida, was abandoned without a ball being bowled. In a video on his YouTube channel, cricketer turned commentator Aakash Chopra questioned the criticism aimed at Babar and Rizwan, asking why the selectors and fans are blaming them now when their playing style has always been consistent.

“Why are you blaming Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam? Everyone is saying that Babar and Rizwan play like this or that and that they shouldn’t be played in T20Is, and you don’t qualify because of them. Then I ask a question, it’s both for the Pakistan public and the selectors – did you not know that they play like this?” Chopra questioned.

“Is it a shock for you that Rizwan takes his time and Babar also has a style of playing? At times, guys from the archeological department suddenly find something when they dig the surface. They get utensils from the Mohenjo-daro and Harappa civilization, and you get surprised. No, you knew they play like this only,” he added.

Rizwan has been Pakistan’s top scorer in their first three games with 93 runs at a strike rate of 88.57, while Babar has scored 90 runs at a strike rate of 104.65.

Chopra then argued that their conservative playing style has been consistent for years and it is unfair to blame them now. He criticized the Pakistan selectors for not building a team with explosive batters around Babar and Rizwan.

“If you made players who play like that the captain and an important player (Rizwan), it’s not their mistake. They play like that only and you have not lost because of them. Even if you have lost, the fact is that these players have played like this only, not from today but for the last eight years,” he said.

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“You should have built a team around them. If you have been unable to do that, please don’t blame them. Make the team properly, which you have been unable to do. The truth is that if you see the batting order, you don’t see explosive ability. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan do provide a little stability but where are the others?” Chopra added.

Pakistan will play their final group game against Ireland on Sunday, June 16, at the same venue, with nothing but pride at stake.

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Last Updated on June 16, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter