Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan head coach has said that his team’s victory over South Africa in the recently-concluded ODI series could help Babar Azam grow as a captain.
The visitors beat a weakened South Africa, who missed several players for being India bound to play IPL 2021, by 28 runs in the third ODI in Centurion to clinch the three-match series 2-1.
Misbah-ul-Haq: With Experience As Captain, Babar Azam Will Improve Upon Strategic Moves
Babar Azam led from the front in the decider, blasting 94 off 82, as Pakistan posted 320 after batting first in the decider. Fakhar Zaman (101) also registered his second hundred in a row. Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Misbah-ul-Haq said that Babar Azam is still learning as a captain and will improve with more experience.
He observed in this regard:”Though he doesn’t have much experience as captain, this performance will allow him to get better. The way he has worked on his game in white-ball cricket or even Tests shows he is a good learner. He has cricketing sense and with more experience as captain, he will definitely improve his strategic moves.”
Misbah-ul-Haq also lauded Babar Azam for the way he took on pacers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje in the first ODI, which sent the tone for the series.
Misbah-ul-Haq elaborated: “For a captain, it’s really important to lead from the front. He just goes in and controls the game. In the first ODI, South Africa did their best to attack him with Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, but the way he counter-attacked gave self-belief and confidence (to him as a captain). All that will help him in decision-making and improve his overall ability.”
With the ODI series in the bag, Pakistan will now meet South Africa in the four-match T20I series. The first match will be played at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Misbah-ul-Haq: Pakistan’s Middle And Lower Middle Order Needs To Capitalize By Scoring Consistent Runs
Speaking ahead of the upcoming T20I series, Misbah-ul-Haq opined that Pakistan’s middle and lower-middle order needs to capitalize on the starts provided by the top order. Mohammed Hafeez and Sharjeel Khan will play T20Is.
Misbah-ul-Haq said in this regard: “Things we see going forward is that in our middle and lower-middle order, we need consistent runs, as well as power, so that you can score big runs. These days, 325 isn’t a safe total, and we have seen that in the last two games when 320 felt less.
“So, 330 and 350 are just normal, (so) it’s necessary to have big-hitting ability in your middle and lower order. The way the top order is setting the innings up, that needs to be capitalised on for a big finish. There is a simple and clear method in white-ball cricket, to put on 200 runs in T20s and 350 in ODIs, and that’s the demands of the time.”
Pakistan will play four T20Is in South Africa before they head off to Zimbabwe to embark on the second leg of their African tour. South Africa made several changes in the deciding ODI as the likes of Anrich Nortje, David Miller, Quinton De Kock, Kagiso Rabada, and Lungi Ngidi didn’t play the last ODI for heading to India to participate in IPL.
In the 1st ODI, Pakistan won by 3 wickets chasing 274 in a thriller. In the 2nd ODI, South Africa won by 17 runs after posting 341/6 on board while Pakistan won the 3rd ODI after posting 320/7 by 28 runs. Fakhar Zaman was the leading run-scorer with 302 runs averaging 100.67 in 4 games while Babar Azam was the 2nd leading run-scorer managing 228 runs averaging 76.
Fakhar Zaman’s 193 went in vain in the 2nd ODI but he scored his 2nd ton in the 3rd ODI. Babar Azam scored a ton in the 1st ODI and missed another ton by a whisker in the 3rd ODI.