Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has added that Babar Azam’s class cannot be questioned because of a poor tournament but said that he has been found wanting for a considerable while as well. However, the Pakistan bowlers bowled out Bangladesh for 204 in their league-phase clash in Kolkata on Tuesday, October 31 and then registered a comprehensive seven-wicket win as well.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “What has happened to Babar Azam? What’s the medicine for this illness? It’s not understandable as of now. Someone messaged yesterday, and I personally don’t agree although he is my friend, that he is a minnow-basher because he doesn’t score runs in other places. There is no doubt that he is a good player. One tournament doesn’t define his class but the truth is that he hasn’t batted well for one-and-a-half months. He scored 150 against Nepal but after that you don’t remember a knock watching which you said how well he played.”
However, Babar Azam has scored 216 runs which came at an average of 30.85 and a strike rate of 77.69 in seven innings in the ongoing World Cup. And, Aakash Chopra shared that Babar Azam’s struggles could be due to multiple factors as well.
“Either it’s the pressure of captaincy or he is going through a phase where he isn’t very secure in his mind, not too comfortable with his game, because he is being seen struggling slightly,” he explained. “The number of times he has got out to spin, a lot of times caught at short midwicket while playing the pull, and then hit a short ball straight to cover, these are little symptoms if your confidence is slightly low, a lot of thoughts are going on in your mind.”
Aakash Chopra has also applauded veteran batter Fakhar Zaman for being his usual aggressive self in Pakistan’s 2023 World Cup win against Bangladesh as well. Fakhar hit 81 runs off 74 deliveries as Pakistan chased down the target with seven wickets and 17.3 overs in hand as well. He also hit three fours and seven sixes as well.
He added, “There was a change in batting. Someone is saying that as soon as Inzamam-ul-Haq resigned, Imam-ul-Haq also went out. There was already talk about a conflict of interest regarding this selection committee. I am not suggesting anything, I am just saying this has happened. Fakhar Zaman came back here and hit seven sixes. Fakhar plays like this only. This is his style of playing. He hits an odd straight six but mostly towards midwicket and square leg, and he hit decently. He even jumped down the track and hit the fast bowlers twice. Fakhar was seen playing like Fakhar after a long time.”
“Abdullah Shafique was there alongside him. I have a lot of respect for him. He is batting really well. He is not just batting well but he is a good batter. The truth is that he is an extremely organized batter and has a bright future,” Aakash Chopra concluded. “It’s great if you get batters who play properly like Azhar Ali used to play for them in Tests. Abdullah Shafique is just like that, the way we have seen him play here. He has been very impressive in all knocks we have seen for the last one to one-and-a-half months.”