“Babar Azam doesn’t deserve a place in the T20 team,” Sehwag’s huge confession on Pakistan’s Captain

Babar Azam

Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag has stirred the cricketing pot with his candid assessment of Babar Azam’s suitability for Pakistan’s T20 International (T20I) team. Pakistan’s performance in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 has been lacklustre. They managed wins only against Canada and Ireland, suffering defeats at the hands of India and the USA. Babar Azam, as captain, faced scrutiny due to his team’s underwhelming performance.

Virender Sehwag on Babar Azam’s place in the team

Sehwag minced no words, asserting that Babar doesn’t meet the demands of modern T20 cricket. His strike rate of 101.66 during the group stage raised eyebrows. Sehwag emphasized the need for players who can consistently hit sixes in the powerplay overs—a crucial aspect of T20 cricket.

Sehwag suggested that if the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) considers leadership changes, Babar should not be part of the T20I team. He challenged Babar to evaluate whether his style of play benefits the team. If not, Sehwag advocated for Babar to step down and make way for a more aggressive top-order batsman.

“Babar Azam is not a player who will hit sixes. He only hits sixes when he is set and spinners are operating. I have never seen him using his feet to fast bowlers or hitting sixes over the covers; it’s not his game as he plays safe cricket by hitting on the ground. So, he consistently scores runs and his strike rate isn’t great,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.

“But as a leader, you have to think whether this game is useful for his team. If not, then demote yourself and send someone who can play big shots in the six overs and get the team 50–60 runs. I may sound harsh, but if the captain changes, Babar doesn’t deserve a place in the T20 team. His performances are not as per the demands of today’s T20 cricket,” Sehwag added.

Babar defended his captaincy, emphasizing that he voluntarily stepped down from captaincy in 2023. He expressed openness to further discussions with the PCB but maintained that any decision would be transparent and in the open.

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