Ahmed Shehzad rips apart Babar Azam over his poor stats in T20Is

Babar Azam, the existing captain of the Pakistan cricket team, gained huge popularity and admiration among cricket fans around the world and is referred to as the “Pakistan’s King of Cricket”. Despite achieving a reputation for his fine batting skills and consistent performances in all formats, Babar Azam receives severe criticism from his ex-teammate who is none other than  Ahmed Shehzad.

The Pakistani former opening batter rips apart Babar Azam for his poor performance in T20 internationals (T20Is). Also, there have been huge concerns regarding his strike rate and overall impact in major tournaments. After a certain stage, the critics argued that his statistics did not meet the expectations set by his title as one of the most premium quality batters in the world.

Ahmed Shehzad, who was a part of the 2009 T20 World Cup winning squad, blasted Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan for considering personal milestones ahead of the team’s interest. Furthermore, he claimed that Babar Azam is the fake king of cricket.

Ahmed Shehzad’s harsh comments on Babar Azam

Speaking to Geo News, Ahmed Shehzad accused Babar Azam of having exaggerated statistics, which do not reflect his real performance in crucial matches:

“This is ridiculous! You have an average of 26 in ICC events and a strike rate of 112 and despite playing 207 balls in the powerplay, you haven’t struck a single six yet. I believe that my stats which I achieved 8 years ago were much better than yours. You need to agree that you are a fake King! We play for Pakistan and want to win big tournaments, but you’re just making a fool of fans on social media with your stats in non-crucial matches.

There is still one more option left for you. All you need to do is raise your hand and accept the fact that I was given all the support and resources from PCB. Also, I got the quality players I needed, but I couldn’t achieve silverware for Pakistan in the T20 World Cup, and declare openly that I am really sorry for what I have done. Now it’s time that you return to domestic cricket and focus on improving your stats and then return to the Pakistan national cricket team,”  said Shehzad.

Babar Azam’s Performance in T20 World Cup 2024

In the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024, Babar Azam played too many dot balls and scored just 90 runs after facing 86 deliveries in 3 matches of the Group A fixtures. Here are the scores of Babar Azam in this tournament against these three different teams:

  • 44 runs from 43 balls (including 3 fours and 2 sixes) at a strike rate of 102.33 vs the United States.
  • 13 runs from 10 balls (including 2 fours) at a strike rate of 130.00 vs India.
  • 33 runs from 33 balls (including 1 four and 1 six) at a strike rate of 100.00 vs Canada.

Babar Azam Surpasses Virat Kohli’s record: Highest run-scorer in T20Is

Amidst severe criticism about his poor performance and his inability to score huge runs, one positive aspect that Babar Azam can consider is surpassing Virat Kohli’s record to become the highest run scorer in T20Is.

As of now, Babar Azam (4,113 T20I runs) ranks at the leading position in this list as Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma with 4,042 runs find themselves at the 2nd and 3rd position. But, there are higher chances that Babar Azam’s position might be taken from him, either by Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma. This is because Team India has qualified for the Super Eights and has more matches to play compared to Pakistan. 

However, Babar Azam’s achievement was short-lived and overshadowed due to his run-a-ball innings against the United States, which received severe criticism for his slow approach while batting at the top of the order.

Conclusion:

Pakistan’s flop show in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024 marked their elimination from the tournament before they could play their last game in the group stages against Ireland.

Babar Azam and his men started their campaign into the 9th edition of the T20 World Cup on a poor note by losing two consecutive games against the United States and India. However, a 7-wicket victory against Canada kept them active in the Super 8s qualification race, and had hopes of winning their remaining match against Ireland.

But, the men-in-green weren’t fortunate enough since the match between the USA and Ireland was called off due to severe rains in Florida. As a result, the United States in Group A qualifying into the Super 8s, becomes the 7th time in the T20 World Cup history that any associate team has advanced from the group stages.