Babar Azam Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Babar Azam

Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Mohammad Rizwan Praised ‘Really Nice Guy’ Virat Kohli

Mohammad Rizwan has heaped praise on India captain Virat Kohli and called him a really nice guy. The duo met during the ICC T20 World Cup in the match between Pakistan and India, where the Men-in-Green emerged victories by 10 wickets courtesy of a 152-run opening stand between Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam.

Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through Team India’s top-order after he got rid of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his opening spell. Then he came back to dismiss Virat Kohli, who scored a half-century. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pak openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

Mohammad Rizwan praises Virat Kohli Photo: AFP
Mohammad Rizwan praises Virat Kohli Photo: AFP

Mohammad Rizwan: Undoubtedly Virat Kohli No. 1 In The World

The win against India in the 2021 T20I World Cup was Pakistan’s first win in 13 World Cup matches (seven in the 50 over World Cup and six in the Twenty20 World Cup) dating back to 1992 in Australia. The two neighbouring countries have not played bilateral cricket since January 2013 wherein Pakistan visited their neighbours wherein they played 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs. The two teams have not met in a bilateral Test series since the 2007-08 season.

“No doubt Virat Kohli is number one in the world,” Rizwan said. “When we play cricket, we are all like a family. When we took a review against Pant after he played a reverse sweep, he (Kohli) said are you trying to get all of us out in 10 overs?”

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India’s Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo

According to the 29-year-old, that was part of the tactic. Pakistan hammered India by 10 wickets in their opening 2021 T20I World Cup fixture as the opening pair of Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan chased down 152 to break the team’s almost three-decade-long jinx in World Cups.

“When we were batting, he also said a few things. I can’t repeat the things that were said, but all I can say is that he is a really nice guy.”

Moreover, he said that the conversation the duo had after the game is personal and he hasn’t told anybody despite being asked several times.

Pakistan’s T20I World Cup Journey Ended In The Semifinal While India Eliminated From The group Stage Itself

Pakistan’s journey in the T20 World Cup came to an end in the semifinal, where Australia registered a five-wicket win and went on to win the tournament. India had an off-colour T20 World Cup, getting eliminated before making it to the semi-finals, making it the first time in eight years, and events that the team failed to make it to the knockouts of an ICC event.

Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Following defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand, India was always under the pump and even though they did manage to beat Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia in their last three games, it was not enough to see them through to the final four.

The 29-year-old Mohammad Rizwan top-scored for his side despite spending two days in a hospital intensive care unit ahead of the Australia clash due to a chest infection. Mohammad Rizwan, 29, came out of the intensive care unit of a Dubai hospital to top-score with 67 in Pakistan’s 176-4, but his efforts were in vain as eventual T20I World Cup winners Australia overhauled that total to set up a title clash with New Zealand, where the Kiwis lost.

Mohammad Rizwan became the only player to score 1,000 T20I runs in a calendar year. He amassed 281 runs in the T20I World Cup 2021, averaging 70.25. Mohammad Rizwan has played 23 T20Is for Pakistan in 2021, and he has smashed 1326 runs at an average of 73.67 and a strike rate of 134.89. He has also smashed 12 half-centuries and one century during this period, with his highest career-best score being unbeaten 104.

Shaheen Shah Afridi. File
Shaheen Shah Afridi. File
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Shaheen Shah Afridi Nominated In 5 Categories For PCB Awards 2021

Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan’s pacer has been shortlisted in five categories for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Awards 2021. According to their nation’s cricket board PCB, the winners will be announced in a virtual digital show, on Thursday (6th January 2022).

The 21-year-old left-arm fast bowler has been nominated in several categories-Impactful Performance of the Year, T20I Cricketer of the Year, ODI Cricketer of the Year, Test Cricketer of the Year, and Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year categories to be decided by an independent 10-member jury.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shaheen Shah Afridi Had An Exceptional 2021 Across All Formats

Shaheen Shah Afridi had a stellar 2021 across all formats. In nine Tests, he took 47 wickets and backed up with eight wickets in six ODIs and 23 wickets in 21 T20Is. His three for 31 against India in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 has made him one of the four candidates for the Impactful Performance of the Year award.

Run-machine Mohammad Rizwan(most runs in T20Is in 2021) and fast bowler Hasan Ali also had a year to celebrate, which is now reflected in their nominations. While Mohammad Rizwan has earned nominations for the Impactful Performance of the Year, T20I Cricketer of the Year, and Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year, Hasan Ali has been shortlisted for the Impactful Performance of the Year, Test Cricketer of the Year, and Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year awards.

Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, and Haris Rauf have been shortlisted in two categories each. Babar Azam, who won the Most Valuable Cricketer of 2020, has once again been nominated in this category, while his other nomination is in the ODI Cricketer of the Year.

Fawad Alam Also Nominated In Test Cricketer And Impactful Performance Of 2021

Batsman Fawad Alam also makes a second successive entry in the Impactful Performance of the Year, while his second nomination is in the Test Cricketer of the Year. Pacer Haris Rauf has been shortlisted in the T20I and ODI Cricketer of the Year categories. For the Emerging Cricketer of the Year, Arshad Iqbal, Azam Khan, Mohammad Wasim Junior, and Shahnawaz Dahani have been shortlisted.

Fawad Alam (Photo-Twitter)
Fawad Alam (Photo-Twitter)

“Players born on or after 1 August 1998 or have made international debuts in this calendar year or have played in a minimum of 15 matches in the Cricket Association events and HBL PSL in this calendar year are eligible. Player(s) once nominated in this category, cannot be re-nominated,” PCB said in a statement.

“This means Haider Ali and Mohammad Huraira, despite impressive performances, were not considered as they had been shortlisted last year,” it added.

Star cricketers Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Fawad Alam have been selected in multiple categories for the PCB Awards 2021. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday revealed the nominations and categories for the annual awards to acknowledge the national cricketers and officials for their performances in the previous year.

Domestic Cricketer of the Year

  • Asif Afridi (59 wickets in Pakistan Cup, National T20 and Quaid-e-Azam Trophy)
  • Iftikhar Ahmed (1,456 runs in Pakistan Cup, National T20 and Quaid-e-Azam Trophy)
  • Mohammad Huraira (986 runs in his debut Quaid-e-Azam Trophy)
  • Sahibzada Farhan (1869 runs in Pakistan Cup, National T20 and Quaid-e-Azam Trophy)
  • Tayyab Tahir (1,670 runs in Pakistan Cup, National T20 and Quaid-e-Azam Trophy

Emerging Cricketer of the Year

  • Arshad Iqbal
  • Azam Khan
  • Mohammad Wasim Jnr
  • Shahnawaz Dahani

Women’s Cricketer of the Year

  • Aliya Riaz (11 ODIs, 382 runs; 6 T20Is, 94 runs; 364 runs in Pakistan Women’s Cup)
  • Anam Amin (9 ODIs, 15 wickets; 6 T20Is, 7 wickets)
  • Fatima Sana (13 ODIs, 20 wickets; 3 T20Is, 4 wickets; 6 wickets in Pakistan Women’s Cup)
  • Nida Dar (10 ODIs, 363 runs and 6 wickets; 6 T20Is, 95 runs and 7 wickets; 146 runs and 14 wickets in Pakistan Women’s Cup)

Impactful performance of the year

  • Fawad Alam (109 v SA, 1st Test)
  • Hasan Ali (10-114 v SA, 2nd Test)
  • M Rizwan (79* v Ind, T20 World Cup)
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi (3-31 v Ind, T20 World Cup)

T20I Cricketer of the Year

  • Haris Rauf (23 T20Is, 25 wickets)
  • M Rizwan (29 T20Is, 1,326 runs)
  • Shadab Khan (18 T20Is, 20 wickets, Eco. 6.64)
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi (21 T20Is, 23 wickets. Eco. 7.86)

ODI Cricketer of the Year

  • Babar Azam (6 ODIs, 405 runs)
  • Fakhar Zaman (6 ODIs, 365 runs)
  • Haris Rauf (6 ODIs, 13 wickets)
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi (6 ODIs, 8 wickets)

Test Cricketer of the Year

  • Abid Ali (9 Tests, 695 runs)
  • Fawad Alam (9 Tests, 571 runs)
  • Hasan Ali (9 Tests, 41 wickets)
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi (9 tests, 47 wickets)

Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year

  • Babar Azam (8 Tests, 416 runs; 6 ODIs, 405 runs; 29 T20Is, 939 runs)
  • Hasan Ali (8 tests, 41 wickets; 4 ODIs, 7 wickets; 18 T20Is, 25 wickets)
  • M Rizwan (9 Tests, 455 runs; 6 ODIs, 134 runs; 29 T20Is, 1,326 runs; total dismissal 56)
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi (9 Tests, 47 wickets; 6 ODIs, 8 wickets; 21 T20Is, 23 wickets)
Saqlain mushtaq
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Saqlain Mushtaq Steps Down As Pakistan’s Interim Head Coach

Former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq has stepped down as Pakistan’s head coach as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is all set to bring in a foreign coach.

Saqlain Mushtaq worked with the Pakistan team since T20 World Cup when Misbah-ul-Haq resigned as the head coach right before the World Cup. For the T20 World Cup, PCB also appointed Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander as batting and bowling consultants respectively for World Cup.

Saqlain Mushtaq.
Babar Azam and Saqlain Mushtaq

Under him, Pakistan played 3 series and did a brilliant job. In the Men’s T20 World Cup, Pakistan topped the group stage winning all 5 games however they lost the semifinal against eventual champions Australia. Next in the Bangladesh tour, Babar Azam & Co clean-swept both T20I and Test series with margins of 3-0 and 2-0 respectively. Then at home, they clean swept the 3-match T20I series against West Indies.

Pakistan Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan chased down India's score of 151 in 17.5 overs | Twitter | @WahabViki
Pakistan Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan chased down India’s score of 151 in 17.5 overs | Twitter | @WahabViki

Australia will tour Pakistan in March-April

Yesterday Pakistan Board chairman Ramiz Raja revealed that Pakistan would soon hire a foreigner as a coach as he discussed it with Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Saqlain Mushtaq and all of them are on the same page.

I discussed the future of Pakistan’s team management with Saqlain, Babar Azam and Rizwan and the general opinion is about the inclusion of a foreign coach in the Pakistan team environment,” Raja said.

However, he sees a role for a local coach as well in away tours for Pakistan.

I firmly believe that you need someone with local knowledge on away tours. But you also need some regular coaches in order to maintain a good environment in net sessions,” Ramiz Raja said.

I also think that we might not have the capacity to give all the responsibilities to the captain [Babar]. He is a relatively new captain which is why we don’t want to pressurize him,” he further added.

Pakistan’s next assignment will be the series against Australia at home as they will host a series of 3 Tests, 3 ODIs, and one T20I in March-April 2022. This will be Australia’s first tour to Pakistan since 1998.

Also read Batting Adjustment Is Relatively Easier For An Opener In Comparison To Others – Salman Butt

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports

Babar Azam And Saqlain Mushtaq Are In Favour Of Foreign Coaches For National Team – Ramiz Raja

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja said that the captain Babar Azam and coach Saqlain Mushtaq had recommended foreign coaches for Pakistan national team. Raja also consulted with Pakistan’s vice-captain Mohammad Rizwan who had similar views on this topic.

“During my discussions with Babar, Rizwan, and later Saqlain they all said it would be better to integrate foreign coaches in the national team’s dressing room,” Ramiz Raja said.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Notable that Pakistan’s head Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis resigned from their roles, right before the T20 World Cup. Then the PCB appointed Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander as batting and bowling respectively for the world cup.

Babar Azam & Co. did well in the T20 World Cup as they won all 5 games in the group stage however their campaign ended in the semifinal as they lost to eventual champions Australia. After the World Cup, Pakistan toured Bangladesh where they clean swept both T20I and Tests with a margin of 3-0 and 2-0 respectively.

However, Raja believes that local coaches should be there with the team who can groom the youngsters in foreign tours.

“My thinking is also that you only need regular coaches if you want to have the best dressing room environment and I think we already have that in our team.” the PCB chairman said.

Pakistan Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan chased down India's score of 151 in 17.5 overs | Twitter | @WahabViki
Pakistan Captain Babar Azam and vice-captain Mohammad Rizwan | Twitter | @WahabViki

He also revealed that he intentionally didn’t appoint any full-time coach for the series against Bangladesh and West Indies as he wanted them to learn on their own (in a relatively easier series).

“I believe that a player only attains greatness in a team when he has to work hard in a difficult situation to perform without any support,” Raja said.

The PCB had advertised for the position of multiple coaches which includes the position of power-hitting batting coach and high-performance centre head coach.

Pakistan’s next assignment will be their home series against Australia as they will play 3 Tests, 3 ODIs, and one T20I in March-April. Meanwhile, Pakistan Super League (PSL) will start on January 27.

Also read Let It Go, Team Just Won A Test Match- Salman Butt Appeals Indian Selectors To Move On From Captaincy Saga

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team. Image Credits: Twitter
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Aakash Chopra Picks 3 Defining Moments Of Indian Cricket In 2021

Aakash Chopra has picked three defining moments of Indian cricket in 2021. He shared these moments through a video on his YouTube channel.

Team India had an exceptional year in Test cricket, with the loss in the inaugural World Test Championship final to New Zealand being the only low point. Although the Men in Blue also had a decent year in the limited-overs formats, their inability to make the knockout stages of the 2021 T20I World Cup would have hurt them a lot.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra Picks India’s Loss To Pakistan In The T20I World Cup 2021 As One Of Defining Moments Of 2021

While stating that he would go in reverse order, Aakash Chopra picked India’s crushing loss to Pakistan by 10 wickets in the T20I World Cup 2021 as one of the defining moments of the year. This was India’s first loss to their arch-rivals in 13 matches combined in ODI and T20I World Cups.

He said: “You might say it is slightly bittersweet or what is good in that. Not good or bad but it defines Indian cricket. Remember the World Cup game we lost to Pakistan. India was totally destroyed and Pakistan won by 10 wickets.”

The cricketer-turned-commentator pointed out that the camaraderie between Indian skipper Virat Kohli and the Pakistan duo of skipper Babar Azam and keeper Mohammad Rizwan deserves a lot of praise. The Pakistan opening duo was unbeaten chasing 152 odd runs to win.

Aakash Chopra elaborated: “But after that, if you leave the outside noise aside, the picture that comes to mind is Babar Azam and Rizwan hugging Virat Kohli. That hug told us a lot of things. Kohli and the Indian team would have had a bigger heartbreak than us but what Virat Kohli did was magnanimous.”

Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Virat Kohli share a heartfelt moment after Ind vs Pak game | Photo: T20 World Cup / ICC
Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Virat Kohli share a heartfelt moment after Ind vs Pak game | Photo: T20 World Cup / ICC

Aakash Chopra chose Team India’s 151-run Test win over England at Lord’s as the second-best moment of 2021.

He observed: “My second moment is Lord’s. India played well in the first innings – Rahul scored a century and Rohit played well. There is a collapse on the second morning and Joe Root hits another century, that too 180. You conceded the first-innings lead.”

The former India opener highlighted that the Virat Kohli-led side had staged a tremendous comeback after they seemed down and out on multiple occasions during the Test. England was the favourite to win the match but India’s pace bowling duo of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah had some other plans. The duo stitched an unbeaten 89-run stand for the ninth wicket and brought India back in the game.

Aakash Chopra explained: “In the second innings, India were 55/3 at one stage and Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara were playing to save their places. They have a big partnership but again you are 209/8 and then the amazing partnership between Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. After that, England were bowled out for 120 in just 51 overs.”

The win at Lord’s helped Team India take a 1-0 lead in the Pataudi Trophy. Although they lost the next Test at Headingley, they bounced back to take a 2-1 lead at the Oval, with the final Test of the five-match series to be played next year. The match was postponed as one of the Indian staff members tested Covid-19 positive.

Aakash Chopra Reckons India’s Win At Gabba Best Moment Of 2021 For India

Aakash Chopra unsurprisingly chose the historic series-clinching win at the Gabba in Australia as Team India’s best moment of 2021. Australia hadn’t lost a single Test match at this venue since 1988 but their 32-year-long unbeaten streak was brought to an end by a spirited Indian side in January this year. The series was on the line and nobody gave them a chance to create an upset, especially because they were missing several of their first-team players.

He reasoned: “At No.1, it has to be Gabba. Our bowling lineup was Mohammed Siraj, T Natarajan, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini and Washington Sundar – what was the chance of India doing well in that game? Australia scored 369 when they batted first. India conceded the lead and were only able to fight because Washi and Shardul scored 62 and 67.”

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source: AP IMAGE

The 44-year-old lauded Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Rishabh Pant for their defining roles on the final day of the Test chasing a stiff target of 328 runs to win.

Aakash Chopra elaborated: “Australia scored 294 in the second innings. You lost Rohit Sharma early on the final day but after that the counterattack. Shubman Gill hit from one end, Pujara was standing at the other end and was getting hit all over the body but when he got out it seemed the game will be stuck. But Rishabh Pant went on playing and hit the winning runs in the end. It was absolutely sensational.”

Aakash Chopra concluded by stating that the 113-run win in the recently concluded Centurion Test against South Africa should also be part of Indian cricket’s best moments of 2021.

 

Danish Kaneria (Getty Images)
Danish Kaneria (Getty Images)

No Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma But Danish Kaneria Picked Three Indians In His T20 XI Of The Year

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has picked his T20I XI of the year 2021 and surprisingly none of the Indian top-order batters made it into XI however he picked the wicketkeeper, Rishabh Pant, as the 12th man.

India made an early exit from the ICC Men’s T20I World Cup 2021 held in UAE as Virat Kohli & co. faced two heavy thrashing in the first two games against Pakistan and New Zealand. And the lack of runs from their top order was one of the key reasons why they were knocked out from the group stage which is reflective in the T20I Xi picked by the former leg-spinner.

Danish Kaneria (Image credit: Twitter)
Danish Kaneria (Image credit: Twitter)

He picked Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan as the openers. The Pakistan duo has become a no-brainer choice for their exceptional show this year. Mohammad Rizwan became the first-ever batter to score 1000 T20I runs in the year as the wicketkeeper batter scored 1326 runs in the Year 2021 with an average of 73.66 which includes one hundred and 12 fifties.

While his captain was also not far behind with 939 runs which include one hundred and 9 fifties. The star Pakistan batsman was also the leading run-scorer in T20 World Cup 2021.

Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Virat Kohli share a heartfelt moment after Ind vs Pak game | Photo: T20 World Cup / ICC
Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Virat Kohli share a heartfelt moment after Ind vs Pak game | Photo: T20 World Cup / ICC

“I will go with Jos Buttler as my no.3,” says Danish Kaneria

The former Pakistan player picked Jos Buttler as his no.3 in the XI and he also explained why none of the Indian batters could make it to Top-3.

“Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam are my openers as performed really well throughout 2021. They were outstanding in the T20 World Cup (2021) and they played well in the recently concluded series against West Indies as well,” Danish Kaneria spoke on his YouTube channel.

People will say at one down it should be Rohit Sharma or KL Rahul or Virat Kohli but no I have a different opinion, I will go with Jos Buttler as he really batted well and had also scored a hundred in World Cup. So, he deserves the spot,” he added further.

However, three Indians- Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Jasprit Bumrah made it into his XI. R Ashwin made his T20I comeback in T20 World Cup after 5 years and he picked 6 wickets in 3 games with an economy of 5.25.

Danish Kaneria’s T20 XI of 2021:

Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone, Mitchell Marsh, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Shaheen Afridi, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Adam Zampa.

12th man: Rishabh Pant

Also Read: Virat Kohli’s Batting Form Will Be More Crucial For India’s Chances In South Africa, Opines Salman Butt

Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Mohammad Rizwan Has Become The First Ever Batter To Score 2000 Runs In A Calendar Year

Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan registered his name in history as he became the first-ever batter to reach 2000 runs in a calendar year. Carrying on his sublime form in the year 2021, he scored another fine knock of 45 ball-87 in a huge run chase against West Indies at Karachi.

Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)

That knock takes his Year-2021 tally to 2036 runs in all T20 games this year. His opening partner and Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam also took his tally to 1779 T20 runs in this calendar year. Previously this record of most T20 runs in a calendar year was held by Chris Gayle who scored 1665 runs in the year 2021.

Indian Test Captain Virat Kohli holds fourth place in this list, scoring 1614 runs in the year 2016 in which he received the Man of The Tournament Trophy in the T20 World Cup and also scored 973 runs in IPL that season.

Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Virat Kohli share a heartfelt moment after Ind vs Pak game | Photo: T20 World Cup / ICC
Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Virat Kohli share a heartfelt moment after Ind vs Pak game | Photo: T20 World Cup / ICC

In the 3rd T20I against West Indies, Pakistan chased down the huge target of 208, thanks to a 158-run partnership between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. With that partnership, this pair also held the record of most century partnerships (6) in T20Is. Previously they held this record jointly with the Indian pair Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.

With this win, Pakistan clean swept the T20I series with 3-0. However, the 3-match ODI series has been postponed to June 2021 as 6 players in the West Indies camp had been tested Covid positive during the T20I series.

Also Read: Mohammad Rizwan, The Highest 2021 T20I Run-getter, Credits Management And Skipper Babar Azam For Promoting Him As An Opener

 

Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Mohammad Rizwan, The Highest 2021 T20I Run-getter, Credits Management And Skipper Babar Azam For Promoting Him As An Opener

Mohammad Rizwan, the Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter has heaped praise on skipper Babar Azam following hosts registering 3-0 triumph over West Indies in the three-match T20I series at home.

Mohammad Rizwan put up a 158-run opening stand with Babar Azam while chasing 208 runs in the third and final T20I. The 29-year-old, who believes the skipper’s presence at the crease gives him a great sense of stability, emphasized that communication was key to their partnership.

Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Mohammad Rizwan Credits Captain And Management For Pushing Him As An Opener In 2021

 Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam powered Pakistan to their highest successful chase in T20I cricket as they beat West Indies by seven wickets in the third T20I in Karachi. Batting first on a well-rolled surface, visitors West Indies rode on Nicholas Pooran’s 37-ball 64 and breezy 40s from Brandon King and Shamarh Brooks to post a challenging 207 for 3.
But a 158-run stand between Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam, in just 15.1 overs, all but ensured a 3-0 scoreline. Babar Azam contributed 79 off 53 balls, while Mohammad Rizwan was the aggressor, hitting 87 off just 45 with the help of ten fours and three sixes.

Mohammad Rizwan said: “When you have the World No.1 batter with you at the crease, you needn’t worry about anything. All you’ve got to do is to observe and learn from the best. The key to our successful partnership is our communication. We keep taking singles, keep setting targets, target some fielders, which in turn makes it easier for us to dominate.”

Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam shared a century stand PCB
Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam shared a century stand PCB

Mohammad Rizwan finished 2021 as the leading run-scorer in T20Is with 1,326 runs in 29 matches at an average of nearly 74. He also became the first cricketer to muster over 2,000 T20 runs (2,036 runs) in a calendar year. The right-hander credited Pakistan’s team management and Babar Azam for his successful year.

“I wouldn’t want to take the credit for this. I would give the credit to the management and the captain who pushed me up the batting order and helped me perform the whole year.”

Earlier in the day, the game was put in jeopardy after Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, and Justin Greaves tested positive for Covid-19 but both teams decided to go ahead with the match. That, however, meant West Indies had to field a severely depleted side, as they were already without Sheldon Cottrell, Roston Chase, and Kyle Mayers – all three had tested positive at the start of the tour – and Devon Thomas, who has a finger injury.

Babar Azam Credited Pakistan Team For Their Successful Run In T20Is In 2021

Babar Azam also showered praise on his opening partner.

Calling him a wonderful human being and speaking about the way Mohammad Rizwan has improved his game, Babar said: “According to me, I’m privileged to have such a talented cricketer, a wonderful human being, someone who gels everyone together and someone who is looked up to by everyone.”

“The way Rizwan improved his game, confidence levels and belief in himself is evident for everyone to see in the last one year. I’m happy that he is the leading T20I run-scorer in 2021.”

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP via Getty Images)

Babar Azam led Pakistan to their 20th win in T20Is this year, the most wins in a calendar year for any captain.

He credited the entire team for the success and noted: “The credit goes to the team and the players for their efforts, and believing in themselves. Communication and backing the players has been quite helpful for us. Every player in our dressing room is a match-winner.”

Babar Azam has scored 939 runs in 29 T20I games at an average close to 38 this year. The century-run stand between the Pakistan skipper and keeper was also their sixth as a T20I pair, the most by a combination, as they went past the Indian pair of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, who have five such scores to their name.

Asif Ali added the finishing touches with his incredible seven-ball 21 as Pakistan completed their highest successful T20I chase to script a 3-0 whitewash over the Windies.

3rd T20I:- Pakistan 208 for 3 (Rizwan 87, Babar 79, Smith 1-34) beat West Indies 207 for 3 (Pooran 64, Brooks 49, King 43, Wasim 2-44) by seven wickets

2nd T20I:- Pakistan 172 for 8 (Rizwan 38, Haider 31, Shadab 28*, Odean 2-24) beat West Indies 163 (King 67, Shepherd 35*, Afridi 3-26, Nawaz 2-36) by 9 runs

1st T20I:- Pakistan 200 for 6 (Rizwan 78, Haider 68, Nawaz 30*, Hosein 1-19) beat West Indies 137 (Hope 31, Odean 24, Wasim 4-40, Shadab 3-17) by 63 runs

Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Virat Kohli share a heartfelt moment after Ind vs Pak game | Photo: T20 World Cup / ICC
Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Virat Kohli share a heartfelt moment after Ind vs Pak game | Photo: T20 World Cup / ICC
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Everything Pakistan Cricketers Touched, Turned Into Gold: Imad Wasim On Beating India In 2021 T20 World Cup Game

Pakistan had beaten Virat Kohli-led India by 10 wickets to begin their T20 World Cup campaign in style. 48 days after his country’s historic win at the Dubai International Stadium, all-rounder Imad Wasim opened up on what he hailed as a “perfect” win against India in the 2021 T20 World Cup group stage encounter.

The stat that made rounds on Twitter ahead of the blockbuster encounter was Pak’s inability to clinch a victory against India in World Cup meetings. And with India touted as title favourites, and Pak enduring a struggling run of form in the format, most expected the usual result to make the headline.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

Pakistan’s Imad Wasim Enjoyed The Occasion And Was Grateful For The Opportunity To Represent Pakistan In A Once In A Lifetime T20I WC

But Babar Azam’s men scripted history to clinch their maiden 10-wicket win in T20Is and their maiden win in World Cups against India to make a thumping statement in their T20 World Cup opener. In a conversation, Imad Wasim was grateful for the “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity of representing his country in a match against India.

“It was really good and beating India always provides some special moments for everyone involved in Pak cricket. Of course, I enjoyed the occasion and the match, and the result was just perfect.

“There was pressure on us, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play against India in a Twenty20 World Cup and I was really grateful for that opportunity,” he said.

Imad Wasim
Imad Wasim (Image Credit: Twitter)

Imad Wasim then opined that it was a near-perfect performance, but felt that it would be impossible for the side to replicate such dominance against India in the future.

“It felt like everything we touched that day turned to gold. Make no mistake, India are a very, very good side, but we just outclassed them on the day.

“The way we played was just fantastic and I would say that it was a near-perfect performance. In fact, I would go so far as to say that what we achieved on that day will be difficult to replicate in the future,” he added.

India went on to lose their second game as well, against New Zealand before winning three in a row. But the wins weren’t enough to confirm their place in the semis. India’s arch-rivals though won all their group games and but lost to Australia in the semis.

Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through Team India’s top-order after he got rid of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his opening spell. Then he came back to dismiss Virat Kohli, who scored a half-century. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pak openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

Imad Wasim Feels India And Pakistan Should Play Regularly Against Each Other

Imad Wasim also called for cricketing ties to resume between the two neighbouring countries, saying that India and Pakistan should play regularly against each other.

“As a player, you always want to compete at the highest level and against the best teams which is why these games are so special for us. I feel that being two world-class teams, India and Pakistan should play regularly against each other.”

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“But having said that, I also understand that there are political reasons which prevent this from happening. This is sad because sports, especially cricket, can unite nations and I do think that we should have bilateral series between the two countries. Not only will this will be good for the game of cricket, but it will also be great both for cricket and for humanity too,” he concluded.

The win against India in the 2021 T20I World Cup was Pakistan’s first win in 13 World Cup matches (seven in the 50 over World Cup and six in the Twenty20 World Cup) dating back to 1992 in Australia.

The two neighbouring countries have not played bilateral cricket since January 2013 wherein Pakistan visited their neighbours wherein they played 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs. The two teams have not met in a bilateral Test series since the 2007-08 season.

India National Cricket Team.
India National Cricket Team. Image Credits: BCCI
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Inzamam-ul-Haq Hints That Problems Between BCCI, Ravi Shastri And Virat Kohli Led To India’s Early Exit From T20I World Cup

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain, feels that the relations between Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri may have turned frosty ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021, which resulted in India’s early exit from the ICC tournament.

The legendary former Pakistan batter reckons the announcement of Virat Kohli stepping down as India’s T20 captain after the World Cup was something the BCCI and the team could have done without.

Inzamam-ul-Haq addresses a press conference in Lahore. — AP/File
Inzamam-ul-Haq addresses a press conference in Lahore. — AP/File

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Virat Kohli’s Statement Of Leaving Captaincy After T20I WC Not Good And All Knew Ravi Shastri Was To Be Replaced By Rahul Dravid

Inzamam-ul-Haq has made a bold statement about the Indian cricket team and their performance against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup 2021, which saw the Men in Blue lose to their arch-rivals for the first time ever in World Cups. The former Pakistan captain commented about India’s performance against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup 2021.

“I said this even before the match, that this statement of leaving captaincy after the tournament… it is not good. You have to play a big event and this shows that there is pressure on you and you are not comfortable. They all knew that after this tournament, Shastri was to get replaced by Dravid,” Inzamam-ul-Haq said.

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India’s Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo

Inzamam-ul-Haq weighed in further on the matter, pointing out that the news of Ravi Shastri’s impending departure and Virat Kohli stepping down as the team’s T20I captain indicated that not all was right within the Indian camp, including relations between the captain-coach duo and the BCCI.

“This should not happen before a big event. Your authority gets challenged. And this means that relations between Kohli, Shastri, and the board were not great. If India were to win the T20 World Cup, would they have removed the captain and coach? There was some problem between them,” said the former Pakistan batter Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Pakistan hammered India by 10 wickets as the opening pair of Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan chased down 152 to break the team’s almost three-decade-long jinx in World Cups.

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Pakistan Always Have A Good Pace Attack And Every Team Is A Little Apprehensive Facing Pakistan

Inzamam-ul-Haq spoke about Shaheen Shah Afridi’s destructive spell against India, which saw him return 3/31, including the wickets of openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma and later captain Virat Kohli. Lauding Pakistan’s pace battery comprising of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, and Haris Rauf in T20I WC 2021, Inzamam-ul-Haq said the country’s pacers are of the quality that they can dismantle any batting unit in the world.

“Our fast bowlers always stamp their authority on India. We have always had a good pace battery. Every team is a little apprehensive about facing Pakistan’s bowling,” said Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Virat Kohli played a 57-run knock while Shaheen Afridi celebrating one of his three wickets | Photo: ICC
Virat Kohli played a 57-run knock while Shaheen Afridi celebrated one of his three wickets | Photo: ICC

Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through Team India’s top-order after he got rid of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his opening spell. Then he came back to dismiss Virat Kohli, who scored a half-century. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pakistan openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

In the next match, India managed only 110 for seven batting first against New Zealand. They lost the game by eight wickets, which pretty much sealed their fate in the T20 World Cup 2021.

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