“Babar Azam was playing a proper ODI knock” – Aakash Chopra
By SMCS - Jun 7, 2024 10:38 am
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Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra said that Babar Azam batted too circumspectly in Pakistan’s 2024 T20 World Cup loss to the USA. He scored 44 runs off 43 balls with the help of three fours and two sixes as well. However, Pakistan set the USA a 160-run target as well. Although the main game ended in a tie, Pakistan eventually lost in the Super Over as well.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam

While talking about Pakistan’s batting in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said, “Pakistan got to bat first and they couldn’t bat at all, whether it was Steven Taylor’s incredible catch diving to his right where Mohammad Rizwan got out, Fakhar Zaman getting out trying to scoop the ball, or Usman Khan hitting straight and getting out. Nosthush Kenjige, who took three wickets, bowled left-arm spin and Saurabh Netravalkar bowled left-arm pace, and wickets fell one after the other and continuously till Shadab Khan came and scored a few quick runs. Babar Azam was playing a proper ODI knock, a run-a-ball one,” the former India opener added.

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While talking about how Pakistan were under pressure, Chopra opined that Babar Azam could have batted as aggressively as Shadab Khan. Babar scored only seven runs off his first 22 balls. Although he smashed 37 runs off the next 20 balls, his slow start cost them as others failed to step up as well.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam loving the support in Hyderabad

“The truth is that you probably definitely needed to play slightly cautiously at that stage because wickets were falling from the other end but when you talk about Babar Azam’s class, you say wickets were falling but you are class. There was nothing special in the pitch. You could have started dominating a little bit more. If Shadab can do that job, Babar can also do it,” he explained.

“The 40 runs Shadab scored off 25 balls tried to take Pakistan to a position from where they could have fought at least. Iftikhar Ahmed scored 18 and Azam Khan got a first-ball duck – not looking good. Shaheen Afridi scored 23 off 16 and you reached 159. To be very honest, 159 were less runs. You should have scored 170-180 at a minimum because this pitch is good and the USA team was there in front of you. No disrespect but it’s the USA’s team, these are all amateur cricketers and you are expected to perform better than this,” Aakash Chopra concluded.