Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that Babar Azam did not justify the hype surrounding him from the start of the Test series against England. He made these observations while rating each of the Pakistan players on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra gave Shan Masood a rating of 6.5 out of 10 for the big three-figure knock he had played in the first innings of the series while observing that the latter could not sustain the momentum.
"Shan Masood started with a big century. Once you play such a big knock, it seems the remaining series would be good for you. He started on a high and then completely fizzled out. But as an opener scoring a big century while touring England, you should give him 6.5 out of 10."
The reputed commentator gave Abid Ali, the other Pakistan opener, a rating of 5/10 while mentioning that better performances were expected considering the placid pitches.
"I will give 5/10 to Abid Ali. There is hope that you will do better. It is a little difficult but the pitches were also mostly flat. So if you don't score runs there, then 5/10 is being a little generous."
Aakash Chopra gave a 5/10 rating to Azhar Ali as well. He stated that the Pakistan captain had only one substantial knock and that his captaincy also left a lot to be desired.
"Azhar Ali, if you see the entire series the average is very good. But if you remove the century in the last Test match, you will feel that he did nothing. So I feel he started performing late. And Azhar the captain, I am going with 5 out of 10. I am not giving him more, I feel he could have been more proactive."
Aakash Chopra opined that Babar Azam did not justify the comparisons with the 'Fab Four', since he had no big knocks and just a couple of half-centuries. The former Indian opener gave him a rating of 6/10.
"Babar Azam, was a very big name when he had gone with talks about Fab Four. But has he justified the tag, starting with a half-century and finishing with a half-century. Are the half-centuries good enough? They are good for lesser players but Babar Azam will play a huge prize for his own success. So, I am going 6/10 for Babar."
Asad Shafiq got a lowly rating of 2/10 from Aakash Chopra for his unimpressive performances.
"I will give 2/10 to Asad Shafiq. Not impressive at all."
Aakash Chopra names Mohammad Rizwan as the bright spot in the Pakistan performances, with the latter deservedly being adjudged his team's Man of the Series.
"Rizwan did good. He was the Man of the Series for Pakistan. I will give him 8/10, he looked good."
The comeback man Fawad Alam also received a 2/10 from Aakash Chopra for his below-par performances.
"Fawad Alam was coming back after a long time but couldn't make a mark. So, unfortunately 2/10."
Aakash Chopra's ratings for the Pakistan bowlers
Shadab Khan, who played just a solitary Test match in the series, was rated 4/10 by Aakash Chopra for the enterprising 45 runs he scored in the first innings while not being able to make a significant impression with the ball.
"Shadab Khan played the first match and made 45 crucial runs but didn't pick enough wickets and nothing on the last day. So, I am going with 4/10. He made runs, picked a few wickets but not enough to win the team the game."
Aakash Chopra rated Yasir Shah 6/10 for being the highest wicket-taker from the Pakistan side while observing that his numbers were not great.
"Yasir Shah, the highest wicket-taker has also got only 11 wickets. If you take only 11 wickets after bowling in 5 innings, he was good in one innings, but he couldn't finish the match when he was supposed to. Because he has 11 wickets, so 6/10."
The 42-year-old gave Mohammad Abbas a 5/10 rating while talking about his diminishing returns as the series progressed, with the batsmen advancing down the pitch to neutralise his movement.
"Abbas got stuck. In the start when it was seaming, he was able to catch the batsmen. But once the batsman started standing outside the crease, you had to call the keeper up and it is not going to work then. So unfortunately I will give 5/10."
Nassem Shah got a rating of just 2/10 from Aakash Chopra for his lack of consistency and inability to take many wickets.
"There was a lot of hope from Naseem Shah. He was bowling quick but there was no movement and lacked consistency. He picked only 3 wickets in 3 Test matches. A young boy with a lot of potential and promise but only 2/10."
Aakash Chopra signed off by giving Shaheen Afridi a rating of 5/10 for a few impactful spells, although he could take only 5 wickets in the series.
"Shaheen Afridi, the leader of the pack, expected a lot more. He took 5 wickets and in spells he has been very impressive. So I am going with 5/10."
Pakistan lost the three-match Test series 1-0 to England. They squandered an opportunity to win the first Test to finish on the losing side. The other two matches ended in draws, with rain playing spoilsport and probably saving Pakistan from further agony.
Published 27 Aug 2020, 13:47 IST