Babar Azam vs Mohammad Rizwan! Saim Ayub names his favorite opening partner

Updated - 02 Mar 2024, 03:35 PM

Saim Ayub, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan
PC: X/Twitter

Pakistan’s 21-year-old left-hand opening batsman Saim Ayub feels that his opening partnership with Babar Azam is much more extensive than opening with Mohammad Rizwan. Ayub who is featuring for the Peshawar Zalmi in PSL 9, made this admission while speaking to a local Pakistani outlet a couple of days ago. The youngster is regarded as the next best-talented batsman from the country.

Saim Ayub has been opening with Babar Azam for the last two seasons in the Pakistan Super League. Babar captains the Peshawar-based outfit who are searching for their 2nd PSL title and the first time since they won it in 2017. They have bowed out of the competition from the play-off stages itself for the last two seasons. This year they will be looking to finally end their wait and become the joint-most successful PSL team.

Peshawar Zalmi currently find themselves 3rd in the points table after playing their first 5 league matches. Babar Azam’s side have registered 3 wins and suffered 2 losses. They are slated to go head-to-head against reigning champions Lahore Qalandars, who are still searching for that first league win. A comprehensive win today for the Zalmis will place them in the second spot and replace the Quetta Gladiators.

Batting with Babar is enjoyable, says Saim Ayub

Now getting back to the context, Saim Ayub stated that he thoroughly enjoys batting with the former Pakistan captain. He would throwback to the time he first entered the Peshawar Zalmi camp and how hesitant he was when trying to talk to Babar. He claimed that once the ice was broken, he not only started to enjoy but also learned a lot from the top-order batter.

“I enjoy a lot, last year it was the case that I didn’t talk a lot with him [Babar] since I was new in this set-up. Then I started playing with him and represented Pakistan as well, so I have a very good understanding with him and now I enjoy a lot batting alongside him. And I constantly learn from him by talking as well as watching him bat,” Saim Ayub said as quoted by Cricket Pakistan. 

The 21-year-old went on to further praise Babar Azam for his lethality during the powerplay overs and hailed his special ability to constantly find gaps.

“I think we have a lot of discussions and then his batting ability, especially in the powerplay, is very high. Because he is finding gaps all the time, and in case he doesn’t, I try to fill that void,” Ayub added. 

Saim Ayub gives a diplomatic answer when asked to choose between Babar and Mohammad Rizwan

Then came the most interesting question for Saim Ayub. He was asked to choose from either of Babar Azam or Mohammad Rizwan in terms of a more enjoyable partner while opening. The youngster didn’t want to offend anyone and gave a rather diplomatic answer to it, claiming he has opened just 4 times with Rizwan and has been opening with Babar in PSL since last season.

Therefore, he chose to remain neutral and stated that both of them are enjoyable in their own ways.

“I have enjoyed with both of them, I have opened with Rizwan bhai for only four times whilst I have been doing that with Babar bhai since the last PSL. I enjoyed with both of them because both of them have scored so many runs, and it feels great to play alongside them,” Ayub concluded. 


Babar Azam Mohammad Rizwan Pakistan national cricket team Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2024 PSL PSL 2024 Saim Ayub