Archive photo of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan© AFP
The Pakistan cricket team enjoyed a great run in the Asian Cup until they were defeated by Sri Lanka in the final. Sri Lanka lifted itself out of the dungeons first, reaching 170 for 6 from a hopeless 58 for 5 due to Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s 45-ball-71, easily one of the best pressure punches in T20s in recent times. As if that wasn’t enough, Pakistan, cruising 93 for 2, was eventually ejected from Pakistan for 147. In the final, No. 1 T20I batter Rizwan (55 from 49 balls) played the role of the leaf anchor to to hit. the odd boundaries, while Pakistani captain and world No. 2 T20I batter Babar Azam was out for 5.
Now former Pakistani cricket team player Aaqib Javed has criticized the duo. “These two openers aren’t going to win you tournaments… Take the two openers [Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan], No.1 and No.2 players in the world. But such a player must know what to do. The Vice Captain [Rizwan] plays for 15 overs – starts playing when the demand rate is 8 and leaves after it’s brought to 17! [in the Asia Cup final that Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka]Aaqib Javed told reporters by Indian Express.
“Paanch saaal mey ghuma-ghuma ke [in 5 years] Iftiqhar Ahmed has come back 4 times. The same goes for Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah. As long as you don’t notice (feeder system among the national teams) and see who can come in to replace, this will continue to happen… I don’t know how to get out of this situation.”
Pakistan is gearing up for the 2022 T20 World Cup and will take on their first game against India on October 23.
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