Cricket World Cup: Though he scored a half-century in the match against India, Babar Azam could not lead his team to a good total.
Babar Azam, Pakistan cricket team captain at the ODI Cricket World Cup 2023, is under a lot of focus. One loss to India for any Pakistan team can do that. Though he scored a half-century in the match against India, Babar Azam could not lead his team to a good total against India. Pakistan were all out for just 191 against India, with Babar Azam top-scoring with a 58-ball 50. However, India surpassed the paltry total in just 30.3 overs with Rohit Sharma scoring a top-notch 86.
Former Indian cricket team player Gautam Gambhir, member of 2007 T20 Cricket World Cup and 2011 ODI Cricket World Cup-winning teams, wants Babar Azam to make wholesome change to his approach to cricket.
“I feel Babar will have to change his personality, his game and, importantly, his mindset. Pakistan have had a history of attacking batters – Shahid Afridi, Imran Nazir, Saeed Anwar, Aamer Sohail. In the present top three, everyone bats in similar mode. If someone has to take responsibility, it has to be their captain, who bats at No. 3,” Gautam Gambhir told Sportskeeda.
“There is no point looking at stats. You may become Pakistan’s leading run-getter, but legacy is created by winning tournaments, not individual records. Wasim Akram took three wickets in the 1992 World Cup final. He did not pick up a five-fer, but everybody talks about it because they won the World Cup. Nobody talks about Mahela Jayawardene‘s hundred in the 2011 final. Everyone remembers that India won the match.”
Gautam Gambhir went to explain his point in detail and even brought up Rohit Sharma’s example.
“The team plays how the captain plays. Both Babar Azam and Rohit Sharma scored fifties. One scored a 50, other scored an 80. None of them scored a hundred, but it was the approach that was the difference. If Pakistan were chasing 190, their mindset would have been just to win the game, whether they get there in 35 or 40 overs,” he said.
“It is important for the captain to take responsibility. If the captain is defensive, the team will be defensive. You can’t tell the 10 other players in the room that, ‘you play positive, I will play [anchor] from one end’.”
Against India, from 155 for the loss of two wickets, Pakistan were all out for 191 and former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar rued the loss of opportunity to post a competitive total on a wicket that was batter-friendly.
“What a waste of opportunity on a great batting wicket. Disappointed. Very disappointed,” he posted on X (formerly known as Twitter).