File photo of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan© AFP
The Pakistan cricket team enjoyed a great run in the Asia Cup until they were defeated in the final by Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka first raised themselves from the dungeons to reach 170 for 6 from a hopeless 58 for 5 because of Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s 45-ball-71, easily one of the best knocks under pressure in T20s in recent times. If that wasn’t enough, Pakistan, who were cruising along at 93 for 2, were finally bowled out Pakistan for 147. In the final, world No. 1 T20I batter Rizwan (55 off 49 balls) as played the sheet anchor’s role hitting the odd boundaries while Pakistan captain and world No. 2 T20I batter Babar Azam was out for 5.
Now, former Pakistan cricket team player Aaqib Javed has criticised the duo. “These two openers are not 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 should know what to do. The vice-captain [Rizwan] plays for 15 overs – starts playing when the asking rate is 8 and leaves after taking it to 17! [in the Asia Cup final that Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka],” Aaqib Javed was quoted by Indian Express as saying to reporters.
“Paanch saaal mey ghuma-ghuma ke [in 5 years] Iftiqhar Ahmed has come back 4 times. Same with Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah. Until you have an eye on it (feeder system below the national teams) and see who can come up to replace, this will keep happening … I don’t know how we are going to get out of this situation.”
Pakistan are gearing for the 2022 T20 World Cup and will face Indian in their first match on October 23.
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