Babar Azam responds to strike-rate criticism after match-winning knock
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan (PC: Twitter)
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam clubbed an unbeaten 110 off just 66 deliveries against England in the second T20I. He formed a 203-run opening stand with partner Mohammad Rizwan to consign a 10-wicket defeat to the visiting Englishmen.
Azam was adjudged as ‘Player of the Match’ for his efforts as Pakistan level the seven-match series 1-1 after losing the opening contest.
Pakistan trash England by 10 wickets, level series 1-1
Babar Azam addresses past criticisms regarding his strike-rate
The skipper finished at 110* with a staggering strike-rate of 166.66. His partner at the other end maintained an even better strike-rate of 172.54 during the course of his 51-ball 88*-run knock.
Notably, the two cricketers have faced severe criticisms over their slow strike-rates in the past. The debate was also the main topic of discussion when Rizwan had scored 55 off just 49 balls in Pakistan’s Asia Cup 2022 final defeat to Sri Lanka.
While both openers have now silenced their critics with the bat through their recent blitz, the captain additionally addressed the issue in length during the post-match press conference.
Azam, who holds a career strike-rate of 129.93 in T20Is, defended his scoring rate by saying that the team always plays according to the situation. He said:
“We always try to play according to the situation. About the chase, me and Rizwan made plans to play according to condition and match situations, and had planned to pick a bowler to target. So accordingly, we executed our plan.”
When asked whether he took the criticisms in a positive light or in a negative one, the charismatic skipper responded:
“We planned and batted according to the target set by our opponents. Our approach depends on the situation. We always take our criticism positively because everyone has their point of view. We cannot tell them to stop giving opinions but we can perform and try our best to make Pakistan win.”