Former Pakistani cricketers slam Babar Azam & Co. for shocking defeat to India in the T20 World Cup

India vs Pakistan at the ICC T20 World Cup
India beat Pakistan by 6 runs at the ICC T20 World Cup

Following the embarrassing defeat to India in their T20 World Cup group stage encounter in New York, former Pakistani cricketers have slammed the Men in Green for their lacklustre performance in the high voltage match. Chasing a low total of 119, Pakistan stumbled to 113 for 7 thereby falling short of 6 runs at the conclusion of their innings. 

Despite getting a decent start, and managing to get to a comfortable position of 73/3 after 12 overs, the Pakistani batters started falling apart all thanks to the brilliant bowling effort of pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya. The ever-reliable Bumrah returned with match-winning figures of 3/14 which included the important wickets of Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed. Hardik Pandya also picked up two important wickets at the expense of only 24 runs in his quota of four overs. 

Former legendary pacer Wasim Akram was quite sharp-mouthed in his criticism of the Pakistan cricket team, as he believes that “it is time to keep the coaches and change the entire team.” Speaking to Star Sports in the aftermath of the game, he said, “Iftikhar Ahmed knows one shot on the leg side. He has been a part of the team for years but doesn’t know how to bat. I can’t go and tell about the game awareness to Fakhar Zaman. Pakistani players think that if they don’t perform well, the coaches will be sacked, and nothing will happen to them.” 

Akram also didn’t hold back while bashing Muhammad Rizwan, the highest scorer from the Pakistan batting line-up. Rizwan scored 31 runs off 44 balls, whose departure by Bumrah paved the way for India’s comeback in the match. 

“They have been playing cricket for 10 years, and I can’t teach them. Rizwan has no game awareness. He should have known that Bumrah was given the ball to take wickets and that the wise thing would have been to play his deliveries cautiously. But Rizwan went for a big shot and lost his wicket,” added Akram. 

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar also didn’t hold back while commenting on the Pakistan team’s unexpected defeat to their neighbouring rivals. In his usual sarcastic tone, Shoaib blasted the Pak batting line-up for not being able to chase down a run-a-ball target in the T20 format. 

While speaking to PTV Sports at the conclusion of the game, the Rawalpindi Express said, “I think we should give credit to Pakistan. They tried their best to lose this game. I could not think any other way. If you look at Pakistan’s middle-order and the whole batting order, it was just run-a-ball. Nobody asked you to hit, go across the line, do anything stupid. But, we made sure the match that could have been won easily by us. We refused to win it. Shocking, surprising.” 

Another former Pakistani batter Younis Khan was particularly critical of their opening pair of Babar and Rizwan. He said, “For me, one of the batters must stay and finish the job. Rizwan had the chance to finish it but unfortunately, he couldn’t finish it. When you’re chasing, we have seen one batter play in the end. We always say Babar and Rizwan should improve. What’s that improvement? We keep on saying, what they need to differently. When you look at Virat Kohli or someone like Jos Buttler, when they play a long innings, they finish the game.” 

After suffering two defeats in two matches, Pakistan is languishing at the second-last position in Group A just above Ireland, having a slightly better net run rate than the Irish team. Both Pakistan and Ireland are yet to register their first win in the T20 World Cup 2024. 

Saurab is a seasoned journalist with a knack for uncovering the heart of a story. With years of experience in investigative reporting, Saurab specializes in bringing depth and context to current events. Their commitment to truth and accuracy ensures readers are always well-informed