ICC World Cup: ‘TV pe baith ke bolna easy hai,’ Babar Azam sharp reply to question on Virat Kohli

Pakistan vs England, ICC World Cup 2023: Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team will face England in their last league stage match at Eden Gardens International Cricket Stadium, Kolkata. Theoretically, it’s a ‘do or die’ match for Pakistan, but practically it is likely to be the last match for the team as they need something implausible against the defending champions to even think about the semi-finals. Skipper Babar Azam addressed a press conference before the match where he sounded optimistic and also took a dig at fans and experts back home.

“With regards to your captaincy, can’t a cricketer like you play the role that Virat Kohli is playing in the Indian team? To prolong your career and focus more on cricket? Because sometimes it feels like this burden hurts your individual performance,” a reporter asked Babar Azam.

“TV pe baith ke mashwara dena asaan hota hai. Agar mashwara dena hai toh number toh sabke paas hi hai (If someone has to give me advice, everyone has my number. It is easy to give advice on TV. If you want to give me some advice, you can message me),” Babar Azam said in an elaborate reply.

The remarks comes as Pakistan’s journey is almost over in the ICC World Cup after New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka on Thursday. Keeping net run rate (NRR) factor in mind, Pakistan needs to beat England by 287 runs while batting first or 284 balls to spare while chasing. 

The Pakistan skipper also opened up on the captaincy pressure and said he doesn’t feel the pressure of captaincy. Babar Azam said that the questions around the captaincy pressure are rising because he is not playing up to his potential.

“I have been captaining my team for the last three years and I have never felt this way. It’s just because I have not performed the way I should have in the World Cup, that’s why people are saying that I am under pressure. I am under no pressure. I have been doing this for the last 2.5 or 3 years. I was the one who was performing and I was the one who was the captain. I was applying the same thing.

“I don’t think I was under any pressure or felt any different because of this. I try to give my best in the field during the fielding. During batting, I think about how I should make runs and make the team win,” Babar said.

Babar Azam’s dismal performance in the ICC World Cup 2023

Before entering the ICC World Cup 2023, Babar Azam was the top-ranked ODI batter in the world, but the Pakistani skipper didn’t perform like that during the tournament. In his 8 matches this World Cup season, Babar Azam has scored 282 runs with an average of around 40.

“My goal was to get a good finish in the batting. I didn’t have a goal to score 50 or 100. The main thing was to make the team win. The performance that helps the team, not my individual performance. I played slow, I played fast, depending on the situation. I play according to the situation and according to what my team needs,” he said.

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Updated: 10 Nov 2023, 07:04 PM IST

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