“He Is Not One-Dimensional”: Former India Cricketer Defends Babar Azam

Cricket

Rohan Gavaskar feels that Babar Azam is “not a one-dimensional player”.© AFP

Former India cricketer Rohan Gavaskar came out in support of Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who has been under the scanner for his low strike-rate in the shortest format of the game. Despite consistently scoring runs, Babar’s form has deteriorated since the start of the Asia Cup last month. Though he did score a century in the ongoing T20I series against Pakistan at home, his form in general has not impressed the critics. However, Gavaskar feels that Babar is “not a one-dimensional player”, labelling the 27-year-old as a quality player.

“To call him a one-dimensional player is a little harsh because he is a quality-quality player. And if anything, the numbers suggest that he is not one-dimensional. The fact that he can change gears and you look at his numbers from the first innings to the second innings. In the first innings, his strike rate is about 125, second innings his strike rate is about 137 which shows that he has the ability to change gears. I think it is a mental mindset with Babar. Fear of failure. And when I say fear of failure, I don’t mean fear of failure as a batter,” Gavaskar said on SPORTS18’s daily sports news show ‘SPORTS OVER THE TOP’.

Babar has struggled to get going when Pakistan bat first, but his strike-rate improves massively when his team is chasing a total.

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While pointing out the same, Gavaskar further suggested that Babar takes extra pressure to stay till the end of the match, which plays a massive role in his overall strike rate.

“I could be wrong here; he feels that the Pakistan team revolves around his batting. So, when he is batting first, he feels that he’s got to stay long because if he fails the team might fail and that can sometimes shackle a player. And that’s what happens to him when they are batting first. When they are batting second, when the target is in front of him, he is just phenomenal because he knows how he needs to pace his innings. He knows at what strike rate he needs to go and how he needs to sort of chase that target down. When he has got that target in front of him, he is just phenomenal. So, for me to call him a one-dimensional player, it is a little harsh. But I think sometimes it’s just the mental mindset which he may need to change when they are batting first,” he added.

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