Renowned Indian commentator, Harsha Bhogle has challenged Babar Azam's effectiveness in T20 cricket, with the former questioning the Pakistan batsman's strike rate.
The 25-year old averages 50.72 in the shortest format, having amassed 1471 runs in 38 T20Is at a strike rate of 128.13.
'Babar Azam's low strike rates can lead to the team's defeat'
However, Harsha Bhogle, feels that strike rate should be given preference over batting average in T20 cricket.
“For the major part of his first two or three years, Babar Azam had a batting average of 50 or 55 but a strike rate of 120. If you are playing with a strike rate of 110 or 115 in T20 cricket, the longer you bat, the more you are ensuring your team’s defeat. Suddenly the batting average is running contrary to what batting average does in any other form of cricket,” Harsha Bhogle elaborated.
Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi also stated something similar about Babar Azam in an interview, a while ago. In fact, Shahid Afridi, during that interaction, had conceded that he was initially sceptical of Babar Azam distinguishing himself in the shortest version.
“I thought Babar Azam would survive in Tests and ODIs but not in T20Is. This was my opinion. But the way that guy has polished and groomed himself. The shots he plays. It depends on the goals you set yourself. It is always hard work. If you don’t work hard enough it can never be possible. In order to achieve any goal you always have to work hard,” Shahid Afridi had said.
Babar Azam, the No.1 T20I batsman in the world, is currently accompanying the Pakistan squad. The Asian outfit is gearing up for an upcoming Test and T20I series against England in the United Kingdom.