'Babar has to be more intelligent' - Wasim Akram's critical comments after Pakistan's poor performances

Akram believes that the Pakistan team does not have anyone to take bold decisions and calls.

Wasim Akram and Babar Azam
Wasim Akram and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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After losing to Zimbabwe in Group 2 of the T20 World Cup 2022, Pakistan's elimination from the competition was all but assured. It was Pakistan’s second consecutive loss at the tournament, as they had previously lost their campaign opener to India. Pakistan’s performances have led to former legendary cricketer Wasim Akram’s harsh criticisms of the current skipper.

Babar Azam & Co. can still advance to the subsequent round, the knock-outs, but only by virtue of a restricted range of permutations and combinations. Although there are still many contributing elements to the team's poor performance in Australia, Babar’s captaincy has consistently been highlighted as a reason.

In both matches, the openers failed to fire. Babar has been going through a lean patch of late, but wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan had been in great touch and was also one of the reasons behind Pakistan winning the tri-series in New Zealand ahead of the ongoing T20 World Cup. But even he failed this time around. As a result, the pressure was on the middle order, which has been an issue in the Pakistani setup for a long time now.

“For the last one year, we knew that the middle order is weak. This guy is sitting here, Shoaib Malik, and my end goal as a captain is to win the World Cup. If I have to make a donkey my father to achieve that, I'll do it, as winning the World Cup is my ultimate goal. If I wanted Shoaib Malik in the middle, I'll make sure to tell the chairman of selectors that I want this guy or else I'll not be captaining the team. But, we don't have people like that,” Akram told A Sports.

I would've put Malik in the middle-order: Akram

Babar Azam led the team in the previous T20 World Cup as well, where Pakistan made it to the semi-finals before being knocked out. Recently, under his captaincy, Pakistan made it to the finals of the Asia Cup 2022, but the game did not go their way and they lost the title to the Dasun Shanaka-led Sri Lanka. Akram was very critical of Babar Azam’s credentials as a captain as he said:

“Babar has to be more intelligent. These are not mohalla teams. The players are decent but I would've put Malik in the middle-order right from the start. This is Australia, not Sharjah or Pakistan's dead wickets,” Akram asserted.

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