Babar aims for redemption in the T20 extravaganza

Babar aims for redemption in the T20 extravaganza

Babar aims for redemption in the T20 extravaganza

Babar Azam has maintained a low profile since resigning as Pakistan captain after the team’s disappointing performances in the World Cup and the Asia Cup. His performance during the Test series against Australia was also below expectations.

In the T20 series against New Zealand, he was moved down to number three from his usual opening position. Despite scoring three half-centuries against New Zealand, Pakistan lost the series 4-1.

Babar seemed to be waiting for the HBL Pakistan Super League to make a comeback, and he has certainly done so. Currently, he is the leading run-scorer in the tournament with 498 runs at an average of over 62, all while opening the batting. Babar has previously faced criticism for his strike rate, but he has improved his ability to hit boundaries more frequently, now scoring at a strike rate of nearly 149.

Demonstrating an impressive understanding of the game’s dynamics, he exhibits different approaches to batting. He shows restraint when wickets are falling on the other end, while aggressively attacking bowlers to accelerate the team’s score in the later stages of the match. As captain, he has successfully led Peshawar Zalmi to the PSL Qualifier.

However, is this a form of redemption for him? When asked about it, he confidently stated that whatever happened in the past has not affected him in any way. After Zalmi’s victory against the Karachi Kings at the National Bank Stadium on Monday, he assured reporters that he felt no pressure.

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Furthermore, Babar disclosed that he never preferred batting in the one-down position for Pakistan during the New Zealand series. Despite his personal dissatisfaction, he fulfilled the team’s demand and played in that position.

Babar has made it clear through his comments, both on the microphone and on the field, that he is indirectly responding to the former Pakistan team director Mohammad Hafeez, who had suggested that Babar should give up his preferred opening position.

Hafeez, during the New Zealand series, also opted to include several inexperienced players in the team.

Babar stresses the importance of adequately preparing talented young players who perform well before representing Pakistan, emphasizing talent identification, academy training, and coaching development.

However, Babar acknowledged that exceptionally gifted players can be an exception to this rule and may be fast-tracked into the national team. An example of this is Babar’s opening partner at Zalmi, Saim Ayub, who showcased his talent in the previous PSL season and made his Pakistan debut shortly after.

Saim took over as the Pakistan opener in New Zealand earlier this year, replacing Babar. The two players have been a highlight of the PSL this season, with Babar expressing his enjoyment of batting alongside Saim. The Zalmi captain praised Saim’s ability to attack the ball and mentioned that having him on the other end allows him to take his time. Saim has also showcased his skills with the ball, bowling off-spin and delivering variations that trouble the batsmen. It seems like the team has found an all-rounder in Saim, who is nothing short of a golden arm.

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