Ramiz Raja launched a fresh attack on Babar Azam after Afghanistan stunned Pakistan in the ODI World Cup.
Pakistani icons have questioned the leadership of superstar Babar Azam after Afghanistan’s stunning win over Pakistan put the Green Army on the brink of an early World Cup 2023 exit in India. From Wasim Akram, Misbah-ul-Haq to Ramiz Raja and Shoaib Akhtar, a host of Pakistani cricketers from the past have pinned the blame on Babar for the displeasing show of the Green Army at the ICC World Cup.
Babar famously masterminded Pakistan’s first-ever win over India in a World Cup game two years ago. Under Babar’s leadership, Pakistan contested the final of the T20 World Cup in Australia last year. The star batter had scored a gritty half-century against India in the high-voltage clash between the traditional rivals at the One Day International (ODI) World Cup. Babar also scored 74 off 92 balls against Afghanistan in Pakistan’s previous outing. However, his knock failed to inspire Pakistan as Afghanistan hammered the 1992 world champions by eight wickets.
Reflecting on Pakistan’s performance under the leadership of Babar, former cricketer Ramiz claimed that players looked ‘scared and underconfident’ against Afghanistan. Before their stunning triumph at Chepauk, giant killers Afghanistan had never beaten Pakistan in the 50-over format. “Pakistan have a lot of problems to deal with. Babar Azam needs to improve a lot tactically. Hasan Ali was getting the ball to reverse towards the back end of the innings. The equation was run-a-ball at that stage. Pakistan needed wickets, and Hasan Ali looked very close to getting a dismissal. What was the need to bowl a spinner from the other end?,” Ramiz said on his YouTube channel.
Ramiz also recalled his post-match interview with Babar. Pakistan skipper Babar had admitted that the bowling of his side was not up to the mark against Afghanistan. “It was a massive disaster for Pakistan in this World Cup. Losing to Afghanistan will hurt badly. The disappointment was writ large on Babar Azam’s face when I interviewed him… Pakistan have never dealt with a surprising defeat like this one before,” Ramiz added.