Babar Azam can match Virat Kohli’s feat only he if plays big knocks: Shahid Afridi

Babar Azam can match Virat Kohli’s feat only he if plays big knocks: Shahid Afridi

Babar not converting his starts is frustrating for the cricket experts.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Babar Azam is one of Pakistan’s top cricketers in contemporary times. The 24-year-old batsman averages over 50 in ODIs and above 54 in T20Is. However, despite his potential and being one of the most consistent scorers in the Pakistani line-up, Azam has still not convinced all about his capability. He is still perceived as one who is still a 50-60 runs player who doesn’t really convert his promising knocks into big ones. The perception has grown stronger after his 48 off 57 balls against India at Old Trafford last Sunday.

Along with opener Fakhar Zaman, he had put on 104 runs for the second wicket to assure the fans that things were under control. But a fantastic spinner from chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav breached his defence and turned around the game in no time. Pakistan eventually lost the match by 89 runs via DLS method as they could only manage 212 runs for the loss of six wickets in 40 overs.

While former Pakistan cricketers lashed out at the Pakistani batting performance, Azam was not spared either. Azam said recently that he learns the batting lessons by watching Indian great Virat Kohli. But former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar slammed Azam saying that if he really idolises Kohli, he should also execute his innings the way the Indian batsman does. Babar was also accused of not keeping the scoreboard moving by rotating the strike.

Azam needs to be more than 50-60 player, says Afridi

Shahid Afridi has now opened up on Babar Azam not converting his starts and has suggested the youngster to play long innings. He adviced the 24-year-old to play match-winning knocks for the team and for that to happen he should learn from Virat Kohli. “It is my hope that Babar Azam will become a bigger player like Virat Kohli. But he won’t become that player if he plays 50-60 balls, scores 50-60 runs but doesn’t help Pakistan win the game,” Afridi said according to Pak Passion.

Babar Azam, who has nine centuries in ODIs, was in good form in the limited-overs series against England prior to the World Cup. He also hit a hundred against Afghanistan in a warm-up game but has scored only one fifty in the showpiece event which was against England. A lot will depend on how he plays against South Africa at Lord’s on Sunday.