Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has urged Babar Azam to step up as per his superstar status in Pakistan’s World Cup 2023 clash against Afghanistan as well. However, the Asian rivals will play against each other on a generally spin-friendly Chepauk surface in Chennai on Monday, October 23. While the Pakistan team have won two of their four games and are placed fifth in the points table, Afghanistan’s only win came against England and they are last in the standings as well.
Previewing the game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra added: “Babar will have to score runs. Eventually he has to come to the party because such a big party has been organized, and you are a superstar but haven’t even played the hero’s brother’s role. So you will have to do it. I feel Shadab (Khan) will play in place of Usama Mir. It’s possible Usama Mir also plays along with Shadab and (Mohammad) Nawaz. Go with three spinners because this pitch will demand you to go with spin. India also played with three spinners here. Ravichandran Ashwin played when the match was played on that pitch.”
However, Babar Azam has scored only 83 runs which came at an average of 20.75 in his four innings in the tournament thus far. Shadab also has been found in poor form with the ball, picking up just two wickets and conceding an average of 6.55 runs per over in the three games he has played so far as well.
“Afghanistan – rule them out at your peril. I would say bat first if you win the toss. Score 250 runs and then see how enjoyable the match will be. There is a good chance of it being a good match. Pakistan are the better team but haven’t played to their potential thus far. God forbid, if you lose this match, forget it, you are gone. Shoaib Akhtar was saying that losing to India was not a problem but they shouldn’t lose to Afghanistan,” Aakash Chopra concluded.