"As a leader, you have to find ways to be diplomatic in press conferences" - Dinesh Karthik on Babar's blunt remarks after Pakistan's loss to the USA 

England & Pakistan Nets
Babar Azam criticised his team's performance against USA in the 2024 T20 World Cup

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam had a frustrating outing against the United States of America (USA) as his side opened their 2024 T20 World Cup campaign with a loss. The ace batter was left fuming by the Men in Green's display and did not mince words during the post-match presentation at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Dallas, Texas on Thursday, June 6.

Pakistan failed to get the upper hand over the co-hosts, ultimately ending on the losing side after a Super Over. Babar top scored with 44 runs off 43 deliveries but lacked support from the other top-order batters. Pakistan were reduced to 26-3 in the fifth over, but managed to recover and post 159 on the board.

Babar was critical of his team's performance across all departments, and his post-match comments reflected the dire state of the side at the minute.

"First six overs, we couldn't capitalise. After that we picked up momentum, but lost wickets in flurry which was a set back and also couldn't put up partnerships at crucial junctures. We weren't up to the mark in the first six overs with the ball. We tried to come back, but we couldn't' finish," Babar Azam said post the defeat.

Dinesh Karthik pointed out that even if things are far from ideal, a leader has to present himself in a way that suggests otherwise. He noted that being completely candid and attacking his own players is not the way to go.

"As a leader, you have to find ways to be diplomatic in press conferences and post-match ceremonies. Somehow, find a way to back your players. Inside the four walls, in the dressing room, you can say what you want and have a go at a few people, but you need to find a way to back those players," Dinesh Karthik said on Cricbuzz.
"It is one thing being honest, but it also one thing trying to understand what the dynamics of your team are. He is just newly-appointed as a captain, a lot of the players are vulnerable right now, he needs to be saying things like, 'Yes, it was a bad day, we could have probably done somethings better;. That is the kind of language to be used. But to say that we played badly and lost to many wickets, it is firstly stating the obvious, and secondly, if any Pakistan player reads it, which they will be, it feels like he is letting you down," Karthik added.

Dinesh Karthik also commented on Babar Azam's body language on the field and opined that losing his temper will not help the team in any way.

"The way he has conducted himself on the field, where he is having a go at the bowlers when boundaries go, is not a sign of a good leader. Showing disappointment is fine, but there is a way to show it, where the players do not get more nervous than they are already on the field," Karthik continued

Pakistan's high-profile seam-bowling unit ended up picking up only three wickets in total as the topsy-turvy encounter led to the scores being level.

In the last over, Pakistan seemingly had the tie in their grasp, but Haris Rauf conceded a six and a four off the last three balls, leading to a livid reaction from the skipper.

"With all the turmoil that happens thanks to the board, I think they have been really unsettled as a unit" - Dinesh Karthik on Pakistan

Pakistan conducted a major revamp post their exit from the 2023 ODI World Cup, which saw Babar Azam stepping aside from the leadership roles.

However, after only six months, they are back to square one after removing Shaheen Afridi as captain after just one series. The ongoing politics in the PCB hierarchy have seemingly played a huge role in how things have transpired.

"One of their key performers is Shadab Khan, and for about a year now, he has really struggled with form. He has not got his bowling to where he would ideally like it to be. Add Shaheen Afridi to the mix as well, who is always a good bowler, but with all the turmoil that happens thanks to the board, I think they have been a really unsettled as a unit and the results are showing," Karthik said in the same aforementioned interaction.

Pakistan will next face Team India at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on Sunday, June 9.

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