Babar talks strike-rate, Naseem vs Bumrah, chat with Kohli, heartbreaking moment

In Sports
April 08, 2024

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam made an appearance on the Peshawar Zalmi podcast on Sunday, covering a wide array of topics from his cricketing journey to insights into his personal life. 

During the podcast discussion, Azam expressed his perplexity at the persistent criticism of his strike rate.

“Look, strike rate and building an innings, as well as winning a match, are distinct matters. When you win a match, both aspects are addressed. It’s a gradual process, understanding how to approach the first six overs and the subsequent ones. I am well aware of my cricketing abilities, knowing precisely what adjustments I need to make. The critical factor is the situation; if it permits, I’ll play freely,” he remarked.

Azam emphasized the importance of context, highlighting instances where playing freely may not be feasible due to the need to construct an innings while preserving wickets. He expressed bewilderment at the constant scrutiny of his strike rate, noting how expectations seem to rise continuously, regardless of his performance.

“Sometimes, it’s perplexing; critics will argue it should be 170 when it’s 150, and if I play at 170, they’ll demand 200. Every player has their unique style, and I refrain from comparisons,” Azam asserted.

When asked to choose between Naseem Shah and Jasprit Bumrah to defend 10 runs in the final over of a T20 match, Azam promptly selected Naseem Shah, citing his admiration for Shah’s determination in overcoming injury and his exceptional skill set.

Reflecting on a particularly disheartening moment in his career, Azam shared the emotional impact of Pakistan’s loss to Afghanistan, admitting it took him nearly a day to overcome the disappointment.

Babar also picked Pat Cummins as one of the most challenging bowlers he has encountered during his career.

“Pat Cummins is one of the difficult bowler,” Babar Azam said.

Regarding his interaction with Virat Kohli during the 2023 World Cup, Azam revealed a preference for engaging in cricket-related discussions with esteemed players like Kohli, although he remained tight-lipped about the specifics of their conversation during the tournament.

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