Sakshi Jain ∙ Sep 14 2022, 10:30 PM

Aaqib Javed slams Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan's sluggish approach

image-l81xb5qaBabar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan (PC: Twitter)

Former Pakistan seamer Aaqib Javed slammed the Pakistan team management and the selectors for the team’s loss against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final by 23 runs. It is no secret that the batters scripted the defeat for Pakistan as they ended up scoring only 147 runs in response to 170 smacked by Sri Lanka.

Javed pointed out various flaws in the batting line-up and how the Green Army can make amends ahead of the T20I World Cup 2022. The veteran slammed the decorated opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan for their lukewarm performance.

Javed takes a jibe at Mohammad Rizwan

Azam had a horrendous Asia Cup, as he failed to smack even a single fifty in the six games. Rizwan, on the other hand, had a brilliant tournament as he ended up as the highest run-getter. However, the batter has come under the scanner for his slow knock in the final. The opening batter was there in the middle till the 17th over but he departed after scoring 55 runs off 49 balls.

While speaking to the press, Javed said,

“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].”

The seamer suggests changes in the middle-order

The seamer further criticised the selection of Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, and Khushdil Shah in the team. Javed believes that instead of looking for alternatives in the middle-order, Pakistan are burdening themselves with the three players for the past few years. Speaking of their replacement, the veteran suggested the name of Agha Salman, Shan Masood, and Tayyab Tahir.

“You don’t want to give chances to those who can play. Shan [Masood] has been piling up runs like mad but you don’t want to play him. There are other players who deserve a place. Tayyab Tahir is a good performer. Then there is Agha Salman, performing in white-ball cricket.”

The 50-year-old also opened up on Shoaib Malik’s snub from the team. He believes that a player should be removed on the basis of his age only when the selectors have an appropriate replacement.

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