Former New Zealand cricketer, Simon Doull did not mince words as he reserved some harsh words for Pakistan star Babar Azam even as the Peshawar Zalmi captain scored a century in a Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2023 match against Quetta Gladiators in Rawalpindi on Wednesday, March 8.
Babar Azam led the Zalmi batting with a 65-ball 115, hitting 15 boundaries and 3 sixes. Babar and fellow opener Saim Ayub (74 off 34) stitched a huge opening partnership of 162 runs in just 13.3 overs after which Babar and Rovman Powell (35 off 18) went after the Gladiators’ bowling attack. Peshawar Zalmi posted 240 for 2 in 20 overs.
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Despite his free-flowing knock, Babar’s reluctance to go up the ante when he was nearing his ton came under the scanner. In fact, from 94 to 100, Babar took 7 deliveries. He was not willing to even smash full tosses away for boundaries, playing it safe against Dwaine Pretorius in the 17th over.
Simon Doull, who was commenting on-air during the final few overs of Peshawar Zalmi’s innings, highlighted that Babar wasn’t playing for the team by not going for it despite the team having 8 wickets in hand. Babar got to his hundred in 60 balls and added 15 more runs in the next 5 deliveries before he got run out in the first delivery of the 20th over.
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“Rather than putting the team first… the last little while, that’s all that been happening. Rather than looking for boundaries.. there is still so much firepower to come. Hundreds are great, the stats are brilliant, but it has to be team first,” Simon Doull said. The clip of Doull’s sharp criticism of Babar’s approach in the nineties went viral on social media.
— 😶 (@PSLteens) March 8, 2023
It was Babar Azam’s 8th T20 century but it was not enough for Peshawar Zalmi as Quetta Gladiators chased down 241 with 9 deliveries to spare. Notably, Babar’s strike rate in T20Is has come under scrutiny several times in the past.
Opener Jason Roy smashed 20 boundaries and 5 sixes for his 53-ball 145 not out after Martin Guptill gave Quetta a flying start with an 8-ball 21. Roy’s blitz was enough for Quetta, who kept their chances of reaching the PSL 2023 playoffs without losing a wicket and eventually they won the game.