Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin feels that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is overburdened by leadership. The statement comes as Pakistan recently lost the Test series 3-0 against England and the ODI series 2-1 against New Zealand. Azam and Co. also drew a two-match Test series against the Blackcaps.
Moreover, Azharuddin believes that Babar is not a natural opener. He advised him to play in the middle order.
Speaking to Cricket Pakistan, he said:
“The burden of leadership overburdens him. Performance is not affected, but not showing traditional form in short format World Cup. The captain of the Pakistan team is not a natural opener; if there is a problem with the form, he finds it difficult to score runs; there is no problem if he bats at lower numbers as well.”
So far, in T20Is, Babar has scored 3355 runs in 99 games at a strike rate of 127.8.
“Kohli is slightly better” – Mohammad Azharuddin compares Babar Azam with Virat Kohli
Mohammad Azharuddin rates former India captain Virat Kohli ahead of Babar Azam owing to his more than a decade-long experience.
As a leader, though, he believes Babar is better but pointed out his failure at the 2022 T20 World Cup. Azharuddin added that the duo has a unique style of play.
“Both are players of their own style, so there is no comparison, but the Indian batsman has vast experience and is the best. Having a long record of performance, Kohli is slightly better. Overall Babar Azam's performance is not affected much due to leadership in all three formats, but he could not show his traditional form during the T20 World Cup.”
Babar amassed 124 runs in seven games at a strike rate of 93.23 in the 2022 T20 World Cup.
Pakistan will next host a five-match T20I series with as many ODIs against New Zealand in April and May.
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