Shoaib Akhtar has backed Pakistan captain Babar Azam to bounce back with the bat after back-to-back failures in the ongoing 2023 World Cup.
Akhtar, however, suggested that Babar will have to prove himself in big matches. Expressing confidence in the Pakistan skipper’s abilities, the former Pakistan speedster said in his latest YouTube video:
“Yes, Babar Azam could not do well again. But we have found another player like Babar Azam in Abdullah Shafique. Babar is obviously a great player, but you need to go out there and perform in bigger games like these. I am sure he will be able to do that in days to come. I hope he is able to play a good knock in a big match.”
Babar Azam has been under the scanner following a string of poor performances in ODI cricket. The No. 1 ranked ODI batter failed to make a significant impact in Pakistan’s World Cup 2023 matches against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, registering scores of 5 and 10, respectively.
“Don’t give up on them” – Shoaib Akhtar comes out in support of under-fire Pakistani bowlers
Pakistan’s bowling attack received flak for their dismal outing against Sri Lanka, as they conceded 344 runs in 50 overs. Shoaib Akhtar cited the lack of ODI cricket in the country as the reason behind the lackluster performance.
The 48-year-old urged fans to not slam Pakistan’s bowlers. He seemed hopeful of the likes of Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf making a strong comeback in the upcoming fixtures, adding (4:44):
“I have my fingers crossed for the match against India. I really want Pakistan to go out there and do well. I won’t criticise Pakistan’s bowling. These are our own kids, and we should back them. These are not ODI bowlers; how can you expect them to be successful in this format? This same bowling unit will start to perform in the upcoming two or three matches. I can understand the disappointment, but don’t give up on them.”
The Men in Green secured a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Hyderabad on Tuesday, setting the record for the highest-ever successful run chase in ODI World Cups.
With two wins from as many games, they are currently placed second in the points table.