"When Babar Azam plays, he plays like Mughal-E-Azam" - Aakash Chopra

Babar Azam played a 158-run knock in the third ODI against England
Babar Azam played a 158-run knock in the third ODI against England
Kartik Iyer

Aakash Chopra has lauded Babar Azam's majestic knock in the third and final ODI against England. On the flip side, he also questioned Pakistan's insipid performance in the three-match series.

Babar Azam smashed 158 runs off 139 deliveries to help Pakistan set an imposing 332-run target for the second-string England team. However, their bowlers couldn't defend the total as the hosts romped home with three wickets in hand and a couple of overs to spare.

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra spoke in glowing terms about Babar Azam's royal batting and his excellent partnership with Mohammad Rizwan. He said:

"When Babar Azam plays, he plays like Mughal-E-Azam. He was very very good in the last ODI. There was a big partnership with Rizwan also and it seemed that you will score enough runs for you to win."

The former Indian batsman highlighted that Babar Azam had bounced back after an indifferent start to the series. Chopra observed:

"He did not have a good start to the series, it did not look at all that the captain was in form in the first couple of encounters but as it is said form is temporary, class is permanent. This guy is class."

Babar Azam was dismissed for a duck and 19 in his two previous knocks on the tour. The Pakistan skipper also became the quickest to score 14 ODI centuries during the course of his splendid innings in the third game.

"Babar Azam's stars are on the rise but what about Pakistan" - Aakash Chopra

Babar Azam's enterprising knock came in a losing cause
Babar Azam's enterprising knock came in a losing cause

Aakash Chopra pointed out that while Babar Azam's stocks are rising, Pakistan cricket seems to be in a downward spiral. He elaborated:

"Babar Azam's stars are on the rise but what about Pakistan. It was probably England's B or C team against whom they have lost the series 3-0. I mean put up a fight, at least get close to winning but nothing like that happened."

While acknowledging that Babar Azam's century might have come too late in the day, the 43-year-old hopes that Pakistan will not have to go through the qualifiers for the next ODI World Cup. Chopra said:

"This is slightly sad news for Pakistan as a country, it is okay for Babar Azam although he scored runs in a dead rubber but a century in England cannot be taken lightly. Pakistan buckle up, if you don't get the points, it should not happen that you have to play the qualifiers in the Super League."

Pakistan are currently placed fourth in the Super League points table. However, with quite a few countries bunched close together, they will hope to bounce back strongly and assure themselves of a direct spot at the next ODI World Cup.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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