'What's the point of them scoring runs?' - Aaqib Javed launches scorching attack at Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan
'We are stuck and it's difficult to get out,' said Javed.
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Last week's 2022 Asia Cup final saw Pakistan suffer a disheartening defeat since they were bowled out for 147 while chasing 171 against Sri Lanka. With victories over India and Afghanistan, and a defeat against Sri Lanka in the Super 4 phase, the Babar Azam-led team advanced to the championship game.
However, only three batters could score runs in double figures during their chase, costing the team heavily in the title match. Even Rizwan, who finished as the leading run-scorer of the tournament, attracted backlash for his poor strike rate while playing as the opener. Rizwan scored 281 runs in six innings with a strike rate of 117.57, Babar, who also opened throughout the tournament, had a terrible campaign overall, scoring merely 68 runs in six games.
Aaqib Javed, a former Pakistani great, was blunt in his criticism of the opening duo of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan for their performance in the shortest format of the game. He emphasized that if they don't increase their run rate, Pakistan will struggle to chase any mark higher than 150 runs.
“Babar and Rizwan will never be out from the team because they will keep scoring runs. But what's the point of them scoring runs? You will only win those games where the target is in the 150-range. When you get a target of 180, you will need an innings that Mohammad Nawaz played at no.4 (in the Asia Cup game against India),” Javed said on Sports Paktv.
“We are stuck and it's difficult to get out of it because one is the captain and the other is a vice-captain, and both play a similar style of cricket. They don't get out, both are technical batters,” he added.
You are wasting Fakhar at 3, he is an opener: Javed
After losing the crucial fixture, experts and critics now believe that Pakistan needs to bring about a change in its approach. In the light of Babar and Rizwan’s unpredictable opening performances, the former Pakistani bowler Javed shared his opinion and said that top-order batter Fakhar Zaman should be brought back to the opening role.
“You are wasting Fakhar at 3, he is an opener. The powerplay is for a reason, ICC wants batters to hit in the first six overs. We don't even do that. How will we score 60 runs in six overs? Australia has bigger grounds, and the ball bounces a lot more. It will be a problem,” Javed stated.