Stories about Babar Azam

#PakVsSA: After losing all three formats, is there an end to Pakistan’s ‘bad luck’ streak?

As another game on this tour of South Africa passes by, another series has been lost by Pakistan, this time exactly where it hurts – the T20 format. The most frustrating part about this tour is that Pakistan has been competitive throughout the series; it was just at the key moments that Pakistan ended up losing the game. The second T20 against South Africa is the perfect illustration of this. Initially, our bowling was decent; all the bowlers bowled relatively well, besides Usman Shinwari. On a pitch where slower balls were required, Shinwari conversely tried to increase his pace with every delivery. ...

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After South Africa’s thrashing, it’s evident that Pakistan’s Test team needs a major reshuffle

Pakistan last played a Test series against South Africa in 2013 and lost 3-0. Five and a half years later, nothing seems to have changed. Another series defeat, another series full of poor planning. When will the Pakistani management learn? Winning series in the UAE against the likes of Sri Lanka and Australia isn’t the most difficult feat to achieve. For me, the biggest test of a team’s competence is playing away from home in tough conditions. And South African conditions are exactly that. The toughest place for Asian teams to play is generally England and South Africa. Ironically, these ...

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In order to bring their A-game, Pakistan needs to concentrate on their A team

It is often said that the gap between International cricket and Pakistan domestic cricket is way too wide for new youngsters in the Pakistan team to bridge. Pakistan Super League (PSL) tries to minimise that gap when Pakistani domestic cricketers not only compete with international cricketers but also learn how international cricketers prepare themselves for a match by sharing the dressing room with them. But is that enough exposure to prepare them for international cricket? Indian Premier League (IPL) takes centre stage in the world of cricket every year during which no or very little international cricket takes place. Even ...

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2018 has been the year of T20 for Pakistan – but that’s about it

I am that party pooper who would be the first to volunteer out of taking insane adrenaline pumping rides at the amusement park, because every experience I have had thus far has left me lightheaded for too long. Yet for some odd reason, I willingly choose to follow the Pakistani cricket team year after year, despite knowing very well that I am signing up for an emotional roller coaster ride that may have the highest crescendos but will also have the sharpest dips. This year kicked off in a free fall mode in New Zealand, where rain seemed like the ...

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#PakvsNZ: From an almost-victory to an unfortunate defeat

It was an eventful four days of Test cricket that eventually ended in the worst possible manner. Men in green succumbed to defeat by a meagre margin of four runs while they were on their way to victory. But then again, when it comes to Pakistan, is that really surprising? In the Champions Trophy final, English commentator Nasser Hussain brilliantly summed us up: “Pakistan cricket at its best. One minute down, next minute up.” "Brilliant from Amir. Pakistan cricket at its best. One minute down, next minute up" – Nasir Hussain (18-06-2017). #greatestCricketQuotes — Imy Asghar (@PakCricket_) June 23, 2017 In this case, ...

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PakvsNZ: T20s proved Pakistan is a good team, but the ODIs will determine if it is a great one

Earlier this week, Pakistan triumphed over New Zealand in the T20 series with an impressive 3-0 victory. Good teams will look at such a performance and think they have all their bases covered. But in order to be a great team, one would have to look at how to improve this performance and excel in all areas. There is no doubt Pakistan absolutely dominated the series, but there remain a few glaring issues which need to be ironed out going forward, most notably our batting order. Firstly, in order for Sarfraz Ahmed to be effective, he must not bat anywhere below ...

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Is Mohammad Abbas the next Mohammad Asif? The next Vernon Philander? The next Glenn McGrath?

It is happening again. Pakistan has once again unearthed a world-class talent, and yet again, the expectations are sky high. Is Mohammad Abbas the next Mohammad Asif? The next Vernon Philander? The next Glenn McGrath? No. He is the first Abbas and it is time for him to make his own name in the game. If you ever need proof that hard work will eventually be paid off, you should refer to the story of Abbas. At 25 years of age (just three years ago), he averaged over 30 with the ball in first-class cricket, lacked the ability to bat, ...

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Men in Green vs Mighty Australia: Has Pakistan selected the best team for the job?

How do we even assess the embarrassing performance exhibited by Pakistan at the 2018 Asia Cup? If we briefly sum it up, we can definitely detect complacency, lack of mental durability and a mismanagement of human resources. Now, after its heart-wrenching exit from the event, Pakistan cricket’s next adventure is a two-match Test series against Australia, which starts tomorrow.  The Inzamamul Haq-led selection committee has announced a 17-member squad to face the team that ranks third in Test rankings. However, it seems the selection committee hasn’t learned from past mistakes and has picked players that are either inexperienced or unsuitable ...

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#PakvsInd: What was to be a nail-biting clash, quickly became a one-sided affair

The entire nation was abuzz as the Asia Cup began, knowing that Pakistan and India were scheduled to face off in multiple matches, and hoping for a repeat of the magical display witnessed during the final of the Champions Trophy 2017. Given the performances Pakistan has delivered since then, one would think we would be the favourite to win, but given that India is an immensely strong side, the matches were sure to be nail-biters. Unfortunately, we all know how the first match turned out, as what was expected to be a nail-biter became a one-sided affair in which India ...

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Pakistan need to get over the 2017 Champions Trophy high, because tomorrow won’t be easy

The proverb “cricket – the game of glorious uncertainties” is probably taken way too seriously by Pakistan. Before the start of the Asia Cup, many cricket pundits were deeming Pakistan as their favourites. But thus far, it has been a story of tremendous crests and troughs as far as the graph of Pakistan team’s performance is concerned. Apart from the game against Hong Kong, the men in green shirts have found themselves in all sorts of trouble. Against India, intent was missing altogether. Indian fielders, making their own blunders, were aiding Pakistan as they dropped five catches in the outfield. ...

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