Babar Azam had a decent outing in the just-concluded three-match Test series against England but it won’t be entirely wrong to state that he did not really live up to the expectations.
Hopes were sky high from Pakistan’s batting mainstay and he started the tour on a stunning note. In the first innings of the series-opener, he scored a stroke-filled 69 but could not really make the most of the momentum in the following innings. His next three scores were 5, 47 and 11 before he scored another unbeaten fifty in the drawn third Test.
He scored 195 runs at an average of over 48 which is an impressive return in English conditions but his failure to score big has invited criticism. And Pakistan captain Azhar Ali is also of the same opinion. While Azhar did praise Babar Azam for his display in England, he stated that his younger teammate would himself realise that he missed good opportunities to register three-figure scores in England.
“Obviously the conditions weren’t easy for batting most of the time. The way he (Babar) played with authority, very few batsmen have played that way. It is good for us that his performances in Test cricket have been at the top. He’s a world-class player and always dominates the bowling line-ups. He played very well. But sometimes in cricket there’s one ball where you can make a mistake, it happens. But I’m happy with the way he played,” said Azhar Ali after the third Test.
“There are little things that are spoken about in hindsight when you don’t win a series. As a batsman, Babar will also realise that when he comes to 60-70 he’ll want to convert that into a hundred. Even when I get out for 60-70, I think that you don’t reach such scores of 60-70 often in England. So he should score big. The batsman himself will realise that. It happens to everyone but the consistency with which he has scored in the last three series, it’s exemplary for us,” he added.
Meanwhile, the third Test ended in a draw as England won the series 1-0. The series win is England’s first over Pakistan since 2010. Both the teams will now lock horns in a three-match T20I series, starting on August 28.