Stories about Babar Azam

Defeating the undefeated: I believe in #TeamGreen and their dream

When Pakistan lost the toss to New Zealand, I felt that Sarfaraz Ahmed secretly wanted to lose it. Had he won the toss, his decision to bat first or bowl would have been critiqued from all angels. Had he won the toss and batted first, fans would have said, “why bat in overcast conditions?” and had he won and bowled first, fans would have asked, “why chase when we’ve won the last game defending?” Regardless, Pakistan were sent in to field first and the story which unfolded was similar to their previous games. Mohammad Amir was sensational, striking early and ...

Read Full Post

No one can ever call the Pakistan cricket team ‘predictable’ or ‘boring’

At the iconic Lord’s cricket ground, Pakistan won the toss and smartly chose to bat first. The real test for Pakistan was whether they could see off the new ball against quality bowlers like Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi. The openers definitely delivered on that front. Just to put things in perspective, after five overs, Pakistan had scored 35 runs, courtesy of seven boundaries. All the shots played were quality strokes, mostly played against good deliveries. This was crucial because when Pakistan’s opening batsmen deliver and lay a good foundation, it usually leads to the middle order firing as well. It wasn’t ...

Read Full Post

From dropping catches to dropping matches, is it the end of the line for Pakistan?

On a morning when ominous looking clouds loomed above, Pakistan won the toss against India. But we soon realised it was to be the only thing that Pakistan would win that day. Due to the overcast conditions, Sarfraz Ahmed chose to bowl first, in what looked like a good decision. Over 330 runs later, he and the Pakistan cricket management realised it was in fact the wrong call. The game followed a similar pattern to the one which Pakistan lost against Australia last Wednesday. Mohammad Amir initially bowled well, only for the pressure to be let off at the other end, ...

Read Full Post

So close yet so far: what happened, Pakistan?

A quintessentially ‘Pakistan’ performance. Going into this match, there was a lot of talk about the role rain would play in the proceedings and I saw just how green the pitch was beforehand. These two factors led me to believe that whoever wins the toss should bowl first. That’s exactly what happened. Pakistan won the toss and bowled first, but what followed was hours of terrible bowling. I feel as if Shaheen Afridi was the root cause of it initially. While Mohammad Amir built pressure at one end, Afridi released it at the other by consistently bowling too short. [caption id="attachment_84197" ...

Read Full Post

Is Babar Azam a ‘selfish’ batsman?

Pakistan have now lost 10 consecutive ODI matches. A 4-0 drubbing against England, the top ranked ODI team, is not surprising as I had predicted a 4-1 defeat in my previous blog. We were below par in all three departments: bowling, batting and fielding. But many positives have also emerged from this series. The highest run-scorer for Pakistan in the series was Babar Azam. He scored 277 runs at an average of 55.40 and a strike rate of 99.64. However, did those figures help the team in winning any game? If not, then why so? While Azam’s classy batting is very pleasing ...

Read Full Post

#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. ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

#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, ...

Read Full Post