'You have not let anyone else open' - Wasim Akram lashes out at Babar Azam for 'playing for himself'

"Little things that the captain does, the team senses too," Akram said.

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

Legendary bowler Wasim Akram came down hard at Pakistan skipper Babar Azam for not sacrificing his position for the team’s needs. Pakistan have suffered two consecutive defeats, against India and Zimbabwe, in their first two games in the T20 World Cup 2022 and their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals are bleak as they will need certain results to go their way.

Babar has been under the scanner ever since Pakistan were shocked by Zimbabwe in their previous encounter and the prolific batter has faced a lot of criticism for his poor captaincy. To add to the woes, the 28-year-old hasn’t managed to get going with the bat either and two low scores have now crept up the pressure on him to deliver.  

Little things that the captain does, the team senses too: Wasim Akram 

Akram feels that Babar has been holding up the opening position for quite long and wondered why there have been no experiments at the top. He further noted that Babar has played for himself rather than the team and wanted him to learn sacrificing for the team’s sake.  

“The easiest place to bat in T20s is opening. You have not let anyone else open in the last two years. I have discussed this with Misbah before, that why don’t you try something new? You have tried it out with bowling, but with batting, we have tried all the experiments with the middle order. But the openers have remained the same and they have batted 14-15 overs together,” Waqar said on Pakistan sports show - The Pavillion as he slammed Pakistan skipper. 

“All of these things begin at the top. And at the top is your captain. If your captain plays for himself and is insecure. If your captain scores runs and lets other batters play at his position, you get to know that your captain is ready to sacrifice himself for you, this Babar has to learn,” Wasim said.

Wasim Akram recalled an instance during his time at Karachi Kings when Babar was keen to open and did not want to move down the order despite the former suggesting him to do so.  

“I have been through this by the way with Babar, at Karachi Kings, yes. In the team we had a couple of bad phases and I requested him once or twice nicely, that please come down at number 3, we’ll try something different. Let (Martin) Guptill bat at the top, seeing he is an opener. And he (Babar) said I would not go down, you ask Sharjeel to bat at 3, and he (Sharjeel) is a natural opener too. And these little things that the captain does, the team senses too,” he added. 

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