"Babar Azam Should Have Shown Bravery": Ex-Pakistan Batter Slams Star For Poor Captaincy
Many experts criticised Babar's decision of giving the remaining over of injured Shaheen Afridi to Iftikhar Ahmed as Ben Stokes smashed a six and a four and brought the momentum back in England's favour
England crushed Pakistan's hopes of lifting their second T20 World Cup trophy on Sunday, as they defeated them by five wickets in the final. Put to bat first, the Babar Azam-led side was restricted to 137/8 in 20 overs as Sam Curran scalped three wickets for England. In reply, Pakistan showed some intent with Shaheen Afridi providing the early wicket of Alex Hales. But the pacer's injury, during the 16th over, played a huge role in changing the course of the game. Many experts criticised Babar's decision of giving the remaining five ball of the over to Iftikhar Ahmed as Ben Stokes smashed a four and a six to bring the momentum back to England's favour. Former Pakistan batter Salman Butt stated that Babar should have brought Mohammad Nawaz in place of Iftikhar, to bowl the remaining over of Shaheen.
"Shaheen was bowling fantastically and had taken a wicket. I wonder why wasn't he given the fifth over to bowl? The time when he was really lethal and the ball was also swinging well, then why didn't Babar went with Shaheen and brought Naseem Shah in. Later when England were in a pressure situation, Ben Stokes was playing a careful knock and he brilliantly escaped Shadab Khan's spell. But when Shaheen came to bowl his comeback over and he could not complete it due to his injury, Babar brought in Iftikhar Ahmed to complete his over when Ben Stokes was at the crease. Everyone is just bothered about matchups these days. Mohammad Nawaz is Pakistan's main bowler, but Babar didn't bring him on," said Salman Butt on his YouTube channel.
"Does he only bowl to right-handers during the PSL, or is he referred to as a left-arm spin only to right-handers? They should add that description to the bowling column if that is the case. They [Pakistan] are creating more limitations for their own players by telling them that they cannot bowl to left-handers. I think Pakistan were tactically behind in the game and Babar should have shown some bravery," he added.
Coming to the final clash, Pakistan lost to England by five wickets on Sunday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. For England, Sam Curran took three wickets while Adil Rashid and Chris Jordan took two wickets each, as they restricted Pakistan at 137/8. For Pakistan, Shan Masood top-scored with 38 runs while Babar Azam also scored 32 runs.
Chasing 139, England faced a early blow with Shaheen Afridi dismissing Alex Hales in the 1st over. Later, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali anchored the innings and took the Three Lions across the line with one to spare and five wickets in hand.