PAK vs NZ: Former Pakistan Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed Wants Babar Azam To Continue To Open For Pakistan

Updated - 02 Apr 2023, 06:16 PM

Babar Azam
Babar Azam. Pic Credits: Twitter

Pakistan wicket-keeper and former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has supported current captain Babar Azam to open the innings for his side as questions have been raised that Azam should be dropped to no. 3 in T20s.

Babar has been the most prolific Pakistani batter in years. He is currently the top 5 ranked batsman by ICC in all formats, topping the list in ODIs. Despite many-many runs, concerns about his strike rate in the shortest format rise every now and then.

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When asked about whether Babar Azam should open in T20s for Pakistan, Sarfaraz Ahmed said yes, as long as there is a partner who could accelerate with him.

Also read: Asia Cup 2023: Former PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf Wants Pakistan To Lobby For Its Interest As The Hosts

“My opinion is different that if there is a partner alongside Babar [who can accelerate]. If I am the captain, I would want Babar to open for my team and play full 20 overs. If Babar is scoring 80 runs for me at one end, so my team would easily post 170 or 180. He is an anchor and other batsmen can play around him,” he said.

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Usually, Mohammad Rizwan is the one who opens with Babar for the Pakistan national side. The two have good averages together but also have a tendency to slow the innings down during an inning. If PCB wants another opener who can knock it around the park, could they look towards the Pakistan Super League (PSL)?

Also read: RCB vs MI: “My Mind Had Completely Shut Off” – Virat Kohli On His Iconic Chase Against Pakistan In 2022 T20 World Cup

Shahid Afridi describes the perfect opening partner for Babar Azam

Former Pakistani captain and legendary all-rounder Shahid Afridi believe that Babar Azam should keep opening the batting for Pakistan but need an explosive partner.

Afridi claimed that the other opener could take it to the bowlers, he said –

“Babar takes time to build his innings and he needs a partner who has a strike rate of 140 plus since the powerplay is important and you have to make full use of it. So, strike rate matters a lot in T20 format, and after this PSL, we have players coming up who can build a solid partnership at the top of the order alongside Babar.”

Also read: ICC World Cup 2023: Pakistan Issue Clarification Over Rumored Stance Regarding World Cup Participation In India

The likes of Mohammad Haris, and Imad Wasim (who generally bats in the middle overs) would be interesting to watch following the explosive PSL both the Pakistanis had. Babar Azam, following an amazing tournament, just settles into his position as the primary opener in the shortest format.

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PAK vs NZ 2023 Pakistan national cricket team Sarfaraz Ahmed