Pakistan’s Ace Batter and Captain Babar Azam, who was lacking form in this year’s Asia Cup have seen a tremendous comeback in the T20i series against England. The Skipper managed to score just 68 runs in his 6 innings in the Asia Cup and had a very disappointing tournament. He was criticized for his poor batting and strike rate in the Asia Cup.
The Ace Batter have managed to shut down the trolls in a great way by scoring a ton in the second match of the series against England. Babar scored 110 runs off 66 balls to chase down a 200-run total without losing a wicket and levelled the tournament.
Babar Azam smashed 5 sixes and 11 boundaries in a masterclass as he became the first Pakistan batter to hit more than 1 T20I hundred. Babar and Rizwan shared a 203-run opening stand as England bowlers were taken to the cleaners.
It was also the second time Babar and Rizwan have helped Pakistan chase down a 150-plus target without losing a wicket. Babar scored at a strike rate of 166.67 while Rizwan, who remained unbeaten on 88 from 51 balls, scored at 172.65.
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar lavished praise on Babar Azam after the Pakistan captain scripted a record by hitting his 2nd T20I hundred. Shoaib Akhtar on his YouTube Channel expressed that the chase at one point showed Virat Kohli’s characteristics.
Shoaib Akhtar Lauds Babar Azam
He said, “I think hats off to the chase. The chasing template, at one point, was Virat Kohli’s great characteristic. Babar has replicated it and shown it. Babar’s class is far better than anyone else in this world. His elegance and shot selection are all class and if his strike rate goes above 150-160, then he becomes something else. And when he does that, Pakistan wins games.”
Furthermore, Akhtar said it’s important that Babar scores at a healthy pace to make sure there is no pressure on Rizwan at the top of the order. Rizwan has been the leading run-getter in T20Is as an opener in 2022 but the star wicketkeeper’s scoring rate came under the scanner at the Asia Cup. However, Akhtar said when Babar and Rizwan are on song, Pakistan eventually end up winning T20I games.
This is what Pakistan requires. The run rate and the strike rate: Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar exclaimed that the strike rate is really important in T20 cricket. He said, “This is what Pakistan requires. The run rate and the strike rate. Our openers, especially Babar Azam have shown why he is the No. 1 player in the world. When he scores at a good strike rate, it becomes easier for Rizwan.”
“They complement each other. But again, I keep stressing about the strike rate because it’s very important. Both the openers scored at over 160. I understand that it’s not possible to maintain this kind of strike rate in every game but make sure you keep up with the required rate. And when you get out, you should not leave the other guys with an asking rate of 11 or 13.”
Shoaib Akhtar also claimed that Babar Azam is one of the greatest players in the world. He stated, “Having said that, Babar is one of the greatest players. When he is on the song, I think he is amazing!”