Legendary Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar noted that Babar Azam has been ‘loose’ against Zimbabwe and claimed that the Pakistan skipper should have scored close to 400 runs against an inferior Zimbabwe side. Akhtar said that Babar lost focus owing to spending too much time ‘waiting’ for his turn.
Having registered an innings victory in the first Test and now sitting in the drivers’ seat in the second, Pakistan have been all over Zimbabwe in the ongoing two-Test series but, on a personal note, the matches have been a nightmare for skipper Babar Azam. Entering the first Test as the #6 batsman in the world, a golden duck in the first game saw Babar’s ranking plummet to #9, and now, the 2(8) in the second game could see the Pakistan skipper further fall in the rankings.
Many have viewed the series as a ‘missed opportunity’ for Babar and Shoaib Akhtar has echoed the same sentiment. Reviewing the ongoing series, the legendary Pakistan pacer asserted that Babar should at least have racked up close to 300 runs in the series, given Zimbabwe are a relatively weak opposition.
"Babar should have scored at least 300-400 runs during this series, Sometimes it happens that you can’t score runs, but I’m sure Babar is trying his best. We expect a lot from him, so we should try to stay positive," Akhtar told PTV Sports, reported Times Now.
Batting at No.4, Babar, across both Tests, has had to wait for his turn to come out to bat due to big partnerships between the Top 3 batters, and Akhtar feels that this ‘wait’ could have disrupted the Pakistan skipper’s concentration. Akhtar compared waiting in the dressing room to ‘quarantining’, and said that it is not easy for someone to go out to the middle and focus, after spending hours waiting in the dressing room.
"Worrying point is again Babar Azam because he is not scoring runs. Against this (Zimbabwe) team, he has to wait for his turn because first opener and then Azhar Ali played long innings. Babar has to wear his pads and be ready during that time, which is the best and worst part of Test cricket,” Akhtar said.