Why Did Shoaib Akhtar Warn Babar Azam in Nets?
Last Updated: March 06, 2023, 15:25 IST
Why did Shoaib Akhtar warn Babar Azam in nets?
While talking about his experiences of bowling to Babar for the first time, Shoaib Akhtar revealed that he had warned the Pakistan captain not to hit the straight drive
Shoaib Akhtar triggered a huge row recently after lashing out at skipper Babar Azam. The former Pakistan cricketer opined that Babar’s lack of communication skills in English has been one of the primary reasons behind the Pakistan skipper’s inability to become a ‘brand’ for the country. Needless to say, Akhtar’s controversial statement did not go down well with the cricket fraternity.
Shoaib has now narrated a heartening story, hitherto unknown, involving Babar. Akhtar, while talking about his experiences of bowling to Babar for the first time, revealed that he had warned the Pakistan captain not to hit the straight drive. However, Babar paid no heed to Akhtar’s instructions and the Pakistan batter eventually went on to play straight drive.
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“I still remember Babar used to come to the academy. Mudassar bhai would accompany him at the time. Once, I told Babar to bat in the nets and specifically told him to not hit me for a straight drive. But he’s a natural batter who relies on his cover and straight drives. Soon, he hit me for one. Tab maine kaha, ‘main isko chhodunga nahi’ (Then I said, I won’t spare you). Then, Mudassar bhai told Babar to come out varna ye maar dega ball (or else he will hit you),” Shoaib Akhtar disclosed on Suno News.
Shoaib Akhtar has been vocal about Babar Azam’s leadership skills in recent times. The legendary Pakistan fast bowler even proposed the idea of appointing all-rounder Shadab Khan as the leader of the country’s cricket team.
Shadab Khan is currently leading the Islamabad United side in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The Islamabad-based franchise, under Shadab’s captaincy, have won five of their seven matches in the PSL.
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Islamabad United are now placed in second position on the points table. In the international circuit, Shadab was the vice-captain of Pakistan in the last edition of the ICC T20 World Cup in 2022. The 24-year-old has so far represented Pakistan in six matches in Test cricket. In white ball cricket, Shadab played 53 ODI’s and 84 T20Is.
Babar Azam, on the other hand, has been Pakistan’s captain in all three formats since 2020. Pakistan reached the finals of the ICC World T20 last year. He also led Pakistan to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup in 2021.
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