Virat Kohli wasn't a match-winner, says Shahid Afridi as he calls himself Babar Azam's admirer

Published - 15 Jun 2024, 10:37 PM | Updated - 15 Jun 2024, 10:38 PM

Shahid Afridi and Babar Azam
Shahid Afridi and Babar Azam {PC:X}

Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi talked about the criticism that Babar Azam is facing in the ongoing T20 World 2024. He said that people can always criticise him for his leadership but he has been a consistent batter for the Pakistan team despite not being a matchwinner like Virat Kohli. 

All the tides have turned against Babar Azam as the Pakistan skipper has come under serious scanner after the team's debacle in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024. Under his leadership, the Men in Green faced an early exit from the tournament as they failed to reach the Super 8 stage of the event. 

Babar Azam as a captain first failed to win the game against the United States of America. It was rated as one of the biggest upsets in cricketing history. After that Pakistan lost the game to India from the winning position and then it dented their chances to qualify for the Super 8. 

On the batting front, Babar Azam has failed as a batter as well. He has compiled just 91 runs in three innings at a strike rate of around 104. His poor batting performance was one of the main reasons why Pakistan got eliminated from the tournament in the league stage itself. 

Shahid Afridi admitted that Babar Azam hasn't performed in the World Cups but he has developed himself. While talking about his leadership, he criticized Batter, saying that he hasn't won anything in the last 3-4 years, and questioned the selection committee for naming him captain again. Speaking in a video posted on his YouTube channel, he explained: 

"Fellow cricket lovers on social media should criticise Babar’s captaincy but consistent players like him are rare in Pakistan cricket. Babar’s performances have been good. Yeah, indeed, he hasn’t been able to perform in the World Cup. I’ve always wished to see Babar emerge as a matchwinner as we talk about Virat Kohli. He wasn’t a matchwinner from day 1 but he has developed himself. 

"Babar Azam is being criticised. It happens because he’s the captain. I am an admirer of Babar (but) he’s been given 3-3.5 years as captain and there hasn’t been any eye-catching result nor there has been any improvement. The first question to the selection committee is that when he didn’t show any improvement (before), (why) he was reappointed as captain?" 

Shahid Afridi further while talking about poor captaincy added that a leader's decision matters a lot and Babar Azam has been unable to improve. He elaborated: 

"As a player, we have never criticised Babar but only his captaincy. A leader’s decision matters a lot – it can change the outcome of a match, and a captain should be able to engage with players. So these are few things Babar has been unable to improve on".

This question has to be asked (to the selection committee) why Babar Azam was reappointed as captain - Shahid Afridi 

Shahid Afridi further questioned Babar Azam's reappointment as captain of the team, claiming that Mohammad Rizwan was the best choice as captain. He also stated that Babar should've supported Shaheen Afridi when he was appointed as the captain of the team. 

"This question has to be asked (to the selection committee) why Babar was reappointed as captain. Mohammad Rizwan was the next best option after Babar. Rizwan has positive body language and doesn’t indulge in blame games."


Pakistan national cricket team Babar Azam Shahid Afridi ICC T20 World Cup