Stories about Babar Azam

Misbahul Haq’s growing trail of blunders

Ever since Misbahul Haq donned the two hats and became Pakistan cricket’s coach and chief selector, he has found himself at the centre of a continuous stream of debate and criticism. The thus far dismal start the Pakistan cricket team has gotten off to in Australia could mean that by the time the boys in green return back home we could be having to contend with a host of new potential question marks about the Misbah reign. But only time will tell whether or not that does indeed come to pass. Nonetheless, Misbah’s trail of blunders stretch even further back, all ...

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Misbah’s cautious approach is as unchanged as his squad

With an entire nation watching him and scrutinising every decision, one of the first hurdles that Misbahul Haq had to navigate was whether or not he could put together an impressive T20 squad for the Pakistan-Sri Lanka series. Unfortunately, it seems like he has tripped at the very first barrier. After even a cursory look at the 16-man squad, the first thing that cropped in my mind was, where are the youngsters? It boggles the mind that when Pakistan is playing a weak Sri Lanka side, that too in front of a home crowd, why has Misbah opted for such a ...

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Misbahul Haq can be a fantastic batting coach but cannot be the head coach

Although it looks like Misbahul Haq has emerged as the prime candidate to become the next head coach of the Pakistan cricket team, I don’t think he is the right man for the job. While Misbah was a decent captain, I felt he hardly introduced any new players during his tenure. The likes of Haris Sohail and Babar Azam were ready to play international cricket while Misbah was captain, but he didn’t allow them to make an entrance, instead relying on the old guard. Misbah consistently preferred safe and ‘conservative’ players over slightly more exuberant cricketers. But I do still ...

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A Tale of Two Teams: Pakistan’s World Cup campaign through Charles Dickens

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness….we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.” The famous opening of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities speaks of an era of contrasts and contradictions. In the year 1775, England and France paradoxically embodied the mirror images of good and bad that define our everyday lives and everything within ...

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CWC19: Pakistan couldn’t score 500, but proved they are worthy of the semi-finals

Before the Pakistan-Bangladesh encounter, Sarfaraz Ahmed said, “we will aim for 500 runs”. While it seemed highly unlikely, Pakistan fans at least expected their team to attempt the impossible. That’s what sport is about, right? Always trying to push the boundaries and make the impossible possible. After all, records are meant to be broken and Pakistan should have done everything they could to try to qualify for the semi-finals. Of course, this was only possible if Pakistan got off to a fast start. Sarfaraz Ahmed "we will try to score 500" #PAKvBAN #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/JPN3sQ5DR8 — Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) July 4, 2019 While the ...

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#PAKvsAFG: Imad Wasim pulled off what Dhoni couldn’t – a late onslaught

Pakistan’s fate now hangs in the balance. At the start of the weekend, the equation for the Men in Green was simple: Pakistan must beat Afghanistan and India must defeat England. Unfortunately, one of these matches didn’t go according to plan. Nonetheless, Pakistan’s World Cup hopes are still alive because they managed to clinch a crucial victory against Afghanistan, but only just. Going into the match, Pakistan were tipped as being the favourites, even though Afghanistan had previously given India a run for their money. Any fan of Pakistan cricket knows that chasing down a target in an ODI ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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, ...

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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" ...

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