Akhtar blames Babar for Pakistan’s misery in first Test
Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has not satisfied with Babar Azam’s performance in the Old Trafford Test against England.
In the first innings, Babar could not turn the fifties into a big run, in the second innings he could not contribute to increase the lead of the team. According to Shoaib, Babar cannot be a great batsman by playing like this.
Babar had a great start in the first innings of the match. Played all strokes great under pressure. His comparison with Virat Kohli, his place among the best batsmen of the time, was all the rage. However, he was caught in the trap of Jimmy Anderson’s brilliant bowling for 69 runs.
Pakistan got a 107-run lead in the first innings courtesy of the bowlers. But in the second innings, they were bowled out for only 169 runs. Babur made only 5 runs.
Many former cricketers and commentators, including Wasim Akram, have seen Pakistan captain Azhar Ali’s bowling and fielding weaknesses. However, Shoaib said on his YouTube channel that Pakistan was defeated because of the second innings.
“Pakistan got an opportunity to put a big score but they made the same mistake that they have been doing since partition. That the batting lets us down,” he said.
“We needed partnerships, stroke-making only when you get loose balls. It was a great chance for Pakistan to put 350-400 runs on the board.”
“But again, none of Pakistan’s star batsmen could score runs. If you have to become a big player and earn a name, these are the situations. If you are not able to capitalize on a 107-run lead, however big a batsman you may be, you are of no use,”
After a remarkable innings of 156 in the first innings, Shane Masood scored a duck in the second innings. Experienced Asad Shafiq has returned because of the run-out after settling down in a quick single attempt. But Shoaib’s main frustration surrounds Babar.
“Shan Masood was unlucky but he had already played his part. Asad Shafiq got run out, it is again his fault. But Babar Azam has to come out with something good, because you cannot create a name like this. You might be a good player, but you have to establish yourself as a match-winner,” Akhtar said.