babar Azam pakistan

Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq criticized Babar Azam’s performance in high-pressure matches, questioning his ability to lead the team in crucial ICC events.

Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has raised concerns about skipper Babar Azam’s ability to perform in high-pressure matches. Babar’s underwhelming performance against India in the ongoing T20 World Cup has come under scrutiny, despite his impressive overall batting averages in T20Is and ODIs.

While Babar boasts career averages exceeding 40 and 56 in T20Is and ODIs respectively, his record in ICC events paints a different picture. In 15 T20 World Cup outings, the 29-year-old averages under 35 with a strike rate of 113.61. Although his ODI World Cup average sits close to 53, Babar struggled in last year’s edition, managing only 40 runs in 9 games.

Speaking on a local sports show, Misbah emphasized the importance of World Cup performances for Babar to truly be compared to Indian batting legend Virat Kohli. “Babar Azam is playing his fourth World Cup as captain. This is where the pressure is on to prove himself. This is where you see, am I better, or is Virat Kohli better?” asked Misbah.

For context, Kohli boasts a phenomenal T20 World Cup record, averaging nearly 72 runs at a strike rate exceeding 130 across 29 matches. However, Kohli himself has had a poor start to the 2024 tournament, scoring just 5 runs in India’s opening two games.

Misbah further criticized Babar, suggesting that strong performances in low-pressure matches hold less weight. “No one counts your performances without pressure. He’s a big player with many achievements, but this is the stage to lead your team and inspire them. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to do that,” he added.

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Misbah pointed out that since 2019, Pakistan has participated in three T20 World Cups and one Cricket World Cup, with Babar failing to deliver consistently. “These underwhelming performances are a reason behind Pakistan’s struggles,” he concluded.

Babar’s struggles have put Pakistan in an unwanted position. After losing their opening matches to both the USA and India, they might face elimination before the Super 8 stage. Their next encounter against Canada on Tuesday, June 11th, is a must-win situation for Pakistan’s World Cup hopes.

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Last Updated on June 11, 2024