‘Not in my nature to hold myself back’ – Babar Azam won’t bat deep ‘at the expense of strike rate’ in T20 World Cup 2021
Azam also highlighted the key areas where he feels the team is lagging.
Updated - Oct 12, 2021 12:46 pm
Prolific Pakistan batter and the team’s skipper Babar Azam has stated that he would not bat deep “at the expense of strike rate”. Azam opened up on a host of things ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021, which is scheduled to be played between October 17 to November 14 in the UAE and Oman.
“I believe if you have the momentum, you need to capitalise on it,” Babar was quoted as by ESPNcricinfo. “If we [Babar and Rizwan] started well, it’s not in my nature to think I should hold myself back or that I must bat deep at the expense of strike rate. However, if one of us is striking the ball well, we try to bat for as long as possible without changing our game.
“Keep our strike rate up, remain positive, but also try and hang around to take advantage of your form. You can’t worry about whether the guys below will deliver. The mindset remains the same. We plan to ensure one of us remains at the crease for much of the innings.”
Whenever a new management comes in, it takes time to adjust: Babar Azam
Pakistan, who have recently undergone a sea of changes in their backroom, with coaches Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis stepping down, will have an uphill task come the multi-team tournament, where they will start their campaign against arch-rivals India on October 24. Azam highlighted the key areas where he feels the team is lagging.
“We’re struggling in two areas, middle order and death bowling, and have done for some time. We’ve tried different combinations and tried to assess who could suit the team if they played in certain positions. It didn’t work out, unfortunately, but that’s cricket. If you select players, you cannot guarantee that they will perform.
“There are ups and downs, and the players we selected were chosen because they had performed elsewhere. You need to take your chances if you want to stay in the Pakistan team. You will have to perform consistently, otherwise, you get demoted to the bench,” he said.
Speaking about the changes going around as Pakistan have roped in Australia’s Mathew Hayden and South Africa’s Vernon Philander as their batting and bowling consultants for the World Cup, Azam said: “Whenever a new management comes in, it takes time to adjust. You don’t just get used to it in a day. It takes time. Even for a team to gel, it takes time. If you select a team, you’re not just going to start getting results in the second or third game. You need time, but our goal is to acclimatise as quickly as possible.”
“Two years ago, was a different time compared to today. Things change. At the time we had different management, different coaches. The mindset is different. But then, we also had a different team; now we have a few different players,” he added.
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