Shoaib Akhtar questions team management’s tactics after Pakistan lose Babar Azam moments before stumps in Southampton
Pakistan haven't started Day three on a good note either.
Updated - Aug 23, 2020 5:03 pm
Babar Azam has been a centrepiece of the Pakistan batting line-up from past few years. He is also deemed as one of the top batsmen of this generation. Recently, after scoring a decent fifty in 2nd Test match against England, he became the only batsman to feature in top five ICC batting rankings of all three formats.
He was rewarded for his excellent performance with the full-time captaincy for ODIs in May this year after he became the T20I captain in 2019. However, on Saturday, while playing the final Test against England, he failed to score some big runs. Batting at his usual position of number 4, Azam got out for 11 runs after playing just 26 deliveries.
The veteran pacer James Anderson dismissed him with an in-swinger which eventually turned out to be the last ball of the day. Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has criticized the team management for sending the right-hander to bat when it was just a few overs before the end of the day.
As per Akhtar, a nightwatchman should’ve come out to bat instead of the team’s best batsman. He tweeted, “Why didn’t we save Babar Azam today by sending a night watchman?”
Why didn't we save Babar Azam today by sending a nightwatchman? #PakvsEng
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) August 22, 2020
The decision of sending the limited-overs skipper at number 4 massively backfired. Pakistan were already in trouble when they lost 2 early wickets for 11 runs and losing arguably their best batsman right before the stumps just added salt to their bruises.
England in complete control
Earlier, England declared their innings at 583/8, with Zak Crawley scoring massive 267 runs, perfectly supported by Jos Buttler’s excellent 152. Even Stuart Broad and Dom Bess played valuable cameos as they tired Pakistan bowlers who were unable to get better of them.
The declaration came quite late in the day with just 11 overs left. Veteran speedster James Anderson found the form early in the innings as he dismissed both the openers with just 11 runs on the board. Babar Azam showed some patience in the middle, but later became Anderson’s 596th Test wicket. With just scalps away from achieving the feat of 600 Test wickets, the pacer will be pumped up to reach 600 wickets soon.