Fakhar Zaman Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Fakhar Zaman

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
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Inzamam-ul-Haq Slams Bangladesh For Its Unsuccessful Overseas Record

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistani skipper, has come down hard on the Bangladesh cricket team over their unsuccessful results away from home.

The 51-year old has opined that Bangladesh’s away performances are still similar to what they used to be 15 years ago. Inzamam-ul-Haq feels Bangladesh has harmed its own chances of competing abroad by making slow pitches in its own turf in Bangladesh.

Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Bangladesh’s Away Performances Are Like 15 Years Back

Following Pakistan’s win against Bangladesh in the first T20I, he posted a video on his official YouTube channel, ‘Inzamam-ul-Haq The Match Winner’.  In his video, Inzamam-ul-Haq slammed Bangladesh and lamented that they haven’t learned much from their poor T20 World Cup 2021 campaign. He feels that apart from winning an odd ODI away from home, the Bangladeshi team has not done well on foreign turf.

“I thought Bangladesh would’ve learnt something from their poor World Cup performances. That maybe they will make better pitches or play better cricket. They’ve been playing cricket for the last 15-20 years and their away performances are just like it used to be 15 years back. It’s like winning an odd ODI once in a blue moon and nothing else,” said Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Bangladesh shocked the cricketing world by defeating Australia 4-1 and New Zealand 3-2 prior to the 2021 T20I World Cup, but it came on their own turf, but overseas, they have only beaten minnows Zimbabwe, Ireland, and inconsistent West Indies in the T20I bilateral series.

Bangladesh (AFP Photo)
Bangladesh (AFP Photo)

The Tigers were one of the poorest teams during the recent T20 World Cup in the UAE, losing all their matches in the Super 12s. Low bounce and sluggish surfaces have become synonymous with Bangladeshi pitches. Teams like Australia and New Zealand have found it extremely difficult to survive on these kinds of surfaces.

Inzamam-ul-Haq: As Soon As Bangladesh Plays Outside They Seem Desolated

In his review, the former Pakistani cricketer pointed out that they seem’ desolated’ whenever Bangladesh plays outside their country. He added that by making ‘pathetic pitches’, they are preventing the development of their own cricketers.

Inzamam-ul-Haq said: “It was a typical match (1st T20I between Bangladesh and Pakistan) in Bangladeshi conditions. We’ve seen this over the years. Teams like Australia and other found it extremely difficult to win in Bangladesh. But as soon as Bangladesh plays outside of their country, they seem desolated.”

“They were nowhere to be seen in the recent World Cup. And this is because they make absolutely pathetic pitches in their country. They don’t even give their players a chance to groom and feel satisfied just by winning matches in Bangladesh. I’m extremely disappointed to see this,” Inzamam concluded.

After winning the first T20I by four wickets, Pakistan will look to clinch the series when the two teams meet in Dhaka for the second T20I later today (November 20).

Bangladesh will have a lot to ponder about after the loss in the first game but do not have too much time as they face Pakistan less than 24 hours after the first game. With several new faces in the squad after the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Bangladesh put up a tremendous fight but will be ruing the missed opportunity, having had Pakistan’s backs against the walls at 24/4 chasing 128.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali. Pic: Getty Images
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali. Pic: Getty Images

Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan, and Mahedi Hasan were the only three batters to reach double figures, with the latter two providing some late impetus to put a target of 128 for Pakistan to chase down. Hasan Ali put the disappointing World Cup semi-final showing behind him and returned with figures of 3/22 in four overs.

Like Bangladesh, Pakistan too faltered early, losing four wickets in the fielding restrictions. However, Fakhar Zaman and Khushdil Shah, who scored 34 each, strung together a game-changing 56-run partnership before Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz put on a show for the crowd in Dhaka with an unbeaten 36-run stand in just 15 balls to take Pakistan home and give them a 1-0 series lead.

Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad once again chose to bat first after winning the toss against Pakistan, in the second T20I in Dhaka. The home side didn’t make any changes, while Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi replaced Hasan Ali.

Namibia (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
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Pakistan Team Cricketers And An Official Went To Namibia’s Dressing Room To Applaud Competitiveness In 2021 T20I WC

Pakistan’s cricket team displayed a heartwarming gesture towards minnows Namibia after the former’s convincing win in the 2021 T20 World Cup clash. PCB’s official Twitter handle shared a clip where their cricketers and a team official went to the Namibian side’s dressing room to applaud their competitiveness.

The likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, and Shadab Khan were amongst the players. Team officials shared some encouraging words about Namibia’s efforts, followed by everyone embracing after a competitive game on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan team visited Namibia dressing room to congratulate them on their journey in the T20 World Cup
Pakistan team visited Namibia dressing room to congratulate them on their journey in the T20 World Cup Image Source: Google.

Pakistan Beat Namibia By 45 Runs To Advance To Semi-finals

Although Namibia lost by 45 runs, they fought till the end and didn’t allow Pakistan to walk over them. However, the target of 190 proved a bridge too far against a high-quality bowling unit. As a result, Babar Azam and co. Became the first team to book a semi-final spot in this year’s event.

Pakistan opted to bat first and defended the score of 189 with ease. Pakistan’s 45-run win over Namibia has now confirmed their final-four spot, leaving only Scotland in their path to a 100% group-stage win rate. It was the first time the Asian team won a game while batting first in this tournament. The only box Pakistan did not tick was in testing their bench strength.
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

The men in green also maintained their unbeaten run that started by beating India in their opening match. They continued by overcoming New Zealand and Afghanistan in hard-fought games. On Tuesday against Namibia, skipper Babar Azam sent the opposition into fielding for the first time in the competition.

Pakistan played the same XI as their first three games, and Babar Azam said that was because the Namibia contest was their first in Abu Dhabi. Although Pakistan’s bowlers could take only five wickets in Namibia’s chase, they did well to restrict their opponents to 144, with Imad Wasim and Hasan Ali going at economies of less than six.

Babar Azam’s 70 And Mohammad Rizwan’s Unbeaten 79 Saw Pakistan Score 189

The decision, meant to challenge themselves, proved fruitful as the pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan shared a 113-run opening stand. Babar Azam’s 70 took them to their fifth T20I century stand – the most by any pair in the format’s history – before the first wicket fell in the 15th over.

After the skipper’s 70, Mohammad Rizwan exploded to finish 79 not out and lifted Pakistan to 189 with Mohammad Hafeez’s cameo. Mohammad Hafeez batted at No. 4, and he began with an assault that saw him make 32 in 16 balls that included five fours.

Hasan Ali proved their best bowler, finishing with figures of 4-0-22-1 as David Wiese top-scored with 43*. David Wiese did the best he could to ignore the match situation and entertained the crowds with his two sixes and three fours to finish unbeaten on a 31-ball 45.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP

For Namibia, their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals look unlikely. The team currently stands fourth in the points table and have fixtures coming up against India and New Zealand. Namibia’s only victory in the Super 12 stage came against Scotland; however, wins in the remaining matches look improbable. Nevertheless, they could take heart from their competitiveness. Pakistan will now lock horns with Scotland in their final Super 12 clash.

 

Pakistan 189 for 2 (Rizwan 79*, Babar 70) beat Namibia 144 for 5 (Wiese 43, Williams 40, Imad 1-13, Hasan 1-22) by 45 runs

Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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T20I World Cup 2021: Gautam Gambhir Said Nothing Will Impact India’s Performance Predicting India To Win Against Pakistan

Gautam Gambhir, a former Indian cricketer, said that Team India are firm favourites to win their upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 clash against Pakistan on Sunday, October 24, at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Gautam Gambhir, who retired back in December 2018, said that external factors won’t affect Virat Kohli and Co. going into the marquee clash.

India and Pakistan have faced each other five times in the T20 World Cup, and the Men in Blue have come out trumps every other time. The last time the two teams met was in 2016 when Virat Kohli’s knock took India over the line at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

Gautam Gambhir: Nothing Will Impact India’s Performance

In fact, in the T20I World Cups, Virat Kohli has scored 169 runs from three innings against the arch-rivals Pakistan. In all those three innings, he remained unbeaten. 78* off 61 balls (2012), 36* off 32 balls (2014), and 55* off 37 balls (2016) were his scores against Pakistan in the T20I World Cups.

Virat Kohli has been India’s highest run-getter against Pakistan in T20Is. He has scored 254 runs from six innings at 84.66 with two fifty-plus scores and a strike rate of 118.6.

“My best wishes are with the team. They have performed well till now. They will surely win. I have full confidence in them. The team is doing great. Nothing will impact their performance. The team will play well and will win,” Gautam Gambhir was quoted as saying.

Prior to the much-awaited game, the Pakistan cricket fraternity and their players have dropped in several comments. However, Gautam Gambhir reckoned that Virat Kohli’s men are less likely to pay heed to the remarks.

“Pakistan always says like this. If India plays with the same potential then we can win over any country,” Gautam Gambhir stated.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP

India will be going into the contest after back-to-back wins against England and Australia in the warm-ups at the ICC Academy Ground. In both games, they chased down targets in a comprehensive manner. Pakistan, on the other hand, started with a win over the West Indies. Then, however, they slumped to a defeat against South Africa after Hasan Ali leaked 22 runs off the final over. India has never beaten Pakistan in World Cups regardless of the format.

Gautam Gambhir Wants Nobody To Sleep With An Empty Stomach

The Delhi-born Gautam Gambhir also had a few words to say about Jan Rasoi, an initiative he set up to serve healthy and nutritious food to poor people.

“I want nobody to sleep empty stomach. With that idea, I am come up with Jan Rasoi. From each centre we are feeding around 4,000 people. I want to open more such centres so that we can feed more needy people,” Gambhir added.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP
In their first warm-up game, Pakistan brushed defending champions West Indies aside, crushing Kieron Pollard’s side with seven wickets with 27 balls to spare. In a comprehensive all-around bowling performance, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Imad Wasim, Haris Rauf, and Hasan Ali found themselves amongst the wickets before a half-century from Babar Azam, and an unbeaten 24-ball 46 from Fakhar Zaman saw Pakistan cruised to a 7 wicket win.
Pakistan 131 for 3 (Babar 50, Zaman 46*, Walsh 2-41) beat West Indies 130 for 7 (Hetmyer 28, Hasan Ali 2-21, Rauf 2-32, Afridi 2-41) by seven wickets

Rassie van der Dussen got an emphatic ton that resulted in South Africa clinching a last-ball thriller against Pakistan. Chasing a stiff 186, South Africa was kept in the chase largely by Rassie van der Dussen, and with 19 needed off the final over, he helped them over the finish line and struck fours off the last two balls from Hasan Ali. David Miller, too hit a crucial six in the final over before Rassie van der Dussen registered his ton off the final ball of the match.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 186/6 (Fakhar Zaman 52; Kagiso Rabada 3-28) lost to South Africa 190/4 (Rassie van der Dussen 101*, Temba Bavuma 46) by six wickets.

Against England in their first warm-up game, chasing a target of 189, India reached 192 for three in 19 overs. KL Rahul smashed 51 off 24 deliveries, and Ishan Kishan retired after playing a knock of 70 runs off 46 balls.

In their second warm-up game, India thumped Australia by nine wickets with Rohit Sharma (60 retired off 40), KL Rahul (39 off 31), and Suryakumar Yadav (38), all getting some runs under their belts as India chased down Australia’s 152 for five in 17.5 overs.

KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: Twitter)
KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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KL Rahul And Rishabh Pant A Major Threat To Pakistan: Matthew Hayden

Matthew Hayden, the former Australia opener and newly appointed Pakistan batting consultant, said leadership will be key in the much anticipated India-Pakistan T20 World Cup clash in “dogfight conditions” in Dubai on Sunday.

Terming the match a real dogfight, Matthew Hayden, who is working with the Pakistan team as a batting consultant, said the margin for error will be very little in the big match, so leadership will be the key to the outcome.

Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden (Image Credit: Twitter)

Matthew Hayden: Leadership Will Be The Key

Matthew Hayden cited examples of MS Dhoni and Eoin Morgan, who led their respective IPL franchises CSK and KKR to the IPL 2021 with success when their own individual performances with the bat were not at expected levels.

“Their individual performances were not as good as they have previously done as per their statistical records but the way they led their troops and conducted themselves played an important part in their teams reaching the IPL final in UAE conditions,” Hayden said in a media interaction.

“I feel leadership will be key in the coming match as conditions in UAE leave very little margin for error and there are dogfight conditions out there.”

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

Matthew Hayden said Pakistan captain Babar Azam had a role to play in the match as a leader and a premium batter.

“There will be additional pressure on him as captain and batsman because he will be targeted and everyone will be wanting to like they say, put him in their pocket. Babar has command and presence and he needs to fulfill that role in a batting sense and captain.”

India and Pakistan will face off in their Super 12s opener on Sunday, October 24 as fireworks are expected in the game between the two arch-rivals. Pakistan’s next game will see them take on New Zealand just two days later. Defeats in those two games would probably spell curtains on their campaign.

Babar Azam has scored 2,204 runs in international T20I cricket in 61 matches at an average of 46.89 with one century and 20 half-centuries. He has scored 7055 runs in 196 T20s averaging 46.11 with 6 tons and 59 fifties.

Matthew Hayden: KL Rahul Possesses A Major Threat To Pakistan

Matthew Hayden also observed that having followed Indian cricket very closely over the years, he believed that dashing batsmen KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant pose the biggest threat to Pakistan in the match.

“More or less I have watched KL Rahul grow and he is a major threat to Pakistan. I have watched him grow up as a boy. I have seen his struggles and his dominance in shorter formats.

“I have seen someone like Rishab Pant, his brash nature and beautiful vision for the game, how he has destroyed bowling attacks because he has got the opportunity because he sees it that way.”

KL Rahul, one of the top run-getters in the IPL 2021, smashed a sparkling fifty against England in India’s first warm-up match and also looked in great touch against Australia in the second warm-up match. On the other hand, Rishabh Pant had a pretty good IPL 2021 himself and hit some lusty blows against England in the 1st warm-up game.

KL Rahul Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
KL Rahul Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

The Australian opener also said, having watched the game’s various elements and been part of it. He can say that nothing matches the rivalry between Pakistan and India, with the Ashes between England and Australia coming a close second to the arch-rivals games.

“For an Australian obviously the Ashes and matches against England are tops but nothing matches the rivalry of these two teams.”

Matthew Hayden said Pakistan has some wonderful assets that will perform on the given day. He termed Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Fakhar Zaman as key players for Pakistan.

“I have learned for whatever reason you are always under pressure, you don’t need to create additional pressure to what the game demands.”

Asked about his short-term role as a batting consultant with the Pakistan team, Matthew Hayden said his main purpose was to bring calmness and control among cricketers and tell the players to remain focused because T20I World Cups are quite challenging.

T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Brad Hogg Backs India, Pakistan, West Indies And England To Reach 2021 T20I WC Semis

Brad Hogg, the former Australian bowler is backing India, Pakistan, West Indies, and England to reach the semi-finals of the upcoming T20I WC. The Super 12s stage of the 2021 T20 World Cup is set to get underway this week.

Brad Hogg appeared on former India batter Deep Dasgupta’s YouTube show DeepPoint. He previewed Australia’s chances at the T20 World Cup and also gave his predictions for the four teams that will reach the semi-finals.

Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images
Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images

Brad Hogg Predicts England And West Indies Will Go To The Semis From Group 1

These are certainly interesting picks from Brad Hogg, who is not expecting his home country Australia to reach the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. England and the West Indies were the finalists of the 2016 T20 World Cup. Meanwhile, India and Pakistan are both looking to win the tournament for the second time in their history having won the trophy in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

“The teams that I think are going to go to the semis are England and the West Indies from Group 1 and from Group 2 I think it’s going to be Pakistan and India.”

West Indies players celebrate with the 2016 T20 WC Trophy [Image-Getty]
West Indies players celebrate with the 2016 T20 WC Trophy [Image-Getty]
Afghanistan combined a belligerent batting performance with tight bowling to stomp to a shocking 56-run win against a somewhat lethargic 2016 T20I WC defending champions West Indies in both teams’ second and final warm-up match for the T20 World Cup 2021.

Mohammad Nabi opened the bowling for Afghanistan and bowled his four overs straight through to return figures of 4-2-2-3, completely stifling West Indies’ chase. Mohammad Nabi bowled 22 dot balls out of 24, conceding only two singles off the bat all through.

Pakistan brushed defending champions West Indies aside in their first warm-up game, crushing Kieron Pollard’s side by seven wickets with 27 balls to spare. In a comprehensive all-around bowling performance, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Imad Wasim, Haris Rauf, and Hasan Ali found themselves amongst the wickets while keeping the run-scoring down, before a majestic half-century from Babar Azam, and an unbeaten 24-ball 46 from Fakhar Zaman put West Indies out of their misery.

Brad Hogg Predicts Pakistan And India Will Go Through

Brad Hogg is backing Pakistan to reach the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. But he believes they will need to beat India in their first game to have any chance of qualifying.

“If Pakistan get beaten by India in the first game, they’ve got a short turnaround to play New Zealand. I think that will be a huge factor on whether Pakistan go through or not. If Pakistan lose against India in the first game, I don’t think they will get through, India will get through. So watch that space.”

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)

India and Pakistan will face off in their Super 12s opener on Sunday, October 24. And fireworks are expected in the game between the two arch-rivals. Pakistan’s next game will see them take on New Zealand just two days later. Defeats in those two games would probably spell curtains on their campaign.

India chased down 189 to beat England with an over to spare as the bat-dominated ball in Dubai. Russie van der Dussen hit a stunning unbeaten century off 51 deliveries as South Africa pulled off an extraordinary run chase to beat Pakistan. Russie Van der Dussen and David Miller slammed 22 off the final over to seal the win off the very last ball of the match.

India cruised to back-to-back wins in the warm-up games ahead of the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. All the Indian batters contributed to the eight-wicket win, with Rohit Sharma leading the way with a fantastic half-century. India spun a web around the Australian top-order before Steve Smith’s half-century and Marcus Stoinis’ cameo propelled Australia to 152.

West Indies players celebrate with the T20 WC Trophy [Image-Getty]
West Indies players celebrate with the T20 WC Trophy [Image-Getty]
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Aakash Chopra Shocked At 2016 Defending T20I World Cup Champions West Indies Batting Display Against Pakistan

Aakash Chopra has criticized the West Indies’ timid batting approach in their T20 World Cup warm-up encounter against Pakistan.

The West Indies managed just 130/7 in their allotted 20 overs against Pakistan. However, the Babar Azam-led side chased down the 131-run target easily with seven wickets in hand and 27 deliveries to spare.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra Criticizes West Indies’ Timid Lacklustre Batting Approach In Warm-Up Game Against Pakistan

While reviewing the West Indies-Pakistan encounter in a video shared on his YouTube channel, questioned the Kieron Pollard-led side’s batting approach.

He said: “What were the West Indies players doing? What were they waiting for? I mean when will you hit, will you hit or not? The most surprising part was that they weren’t even trying.”

Chris Gayle PTI
Chris Gayle PTI

The former India cricketer added that the West Indies’ excruciatingly slow batting was unbecoming of the defending champions.

Aakash Chopra elaborated: “Did nobody tell them that it was a T20 encounter and not a Test match or an ODI where it will work by going extremely slowly. Here, in the race between a hare and a tortoise, it’s not the tortoise but the hare who wins. It didn’t look like they were anything like the defending champions.”

The West Indies scored just 68 runs in the first 15 overs of their innings and also lost four wickets in the bargain. None of their top four batters – Lendl Simmons, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, and Roston Chase – scored at even run-a-ball. Lendl Simmons (18 of 23), Andre Fletcher (2 of 6), Chris Gayle (20 of 30), and Roston Chase (9 of 13) failed.

Aakash Chopra: Kieron Pollard Only Batsman To Show Big Hitting Prowess

While lauding Pakistan’s disciplined bowling effort, Aakash Chopra was slightly disappointed with Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran’s batting efforts. Shimron Hetmyer scored 28 off 24 balls while Nicholas Pooran scored run a ball 13.

He pointed out: “Of course, Pakistan was bowling well, Imad Wasim with the new ball and all of that, and Shaheen and Hasan but try at least, throw the bat at least. Hetmyer made 28 runs with three boundaries, Pooran again run-a-ball 13, not really looking that great.”

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard(Getty Images)
The 44-year-old concluded by stating that Kieron Pollard was the only West Indies batter to show his big-hitting prowess. Kieron Pollard scored an unbeaten 23 off 10 balls, including 5 fours, to give some respect to the total after they managed only 108 in 18.4 overs.
Aakash Chopra observed: “Pollard comes later and hits five fours in an over from Haris Rauf and tells you that you can bat like that. When you can bat like that, why were the batters up the order not hitting? When will they hit? What is this team? When they start hitting, everyone can hit and if they don’t, no one feels like hitting.”
Nicholas Pooran’s six off Shaheen Shah Afridi’s bowling was the only maximum of the West Indian innings. The explosive batting lineup also hit just 14 fours during their batting effort.
For Pakistan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf took 2 wickets while Imad Wasim was economical. Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman hit an unbeaten 46, and skipper Babar Azam scored a 50 as Pakistan chased the target successfully in the middle of the 16th over.
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)
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T20 World Cup 2021: Babar Azam Feels Conditions At UAE Will Suit Pakistan

Pakistan has won their last 10 Twenty20 internationals in the United Arab Emirates, and captain Babar Azam claims that will give his men the edge over India in their World Cup opener.

The arch-rivals will meet in Dubai on October 24 in what will be the biggest clash of the tournament that starts Sunday in Oman and the UAE.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

Pakistan’s Last 10 T20I Wins At UAE Will Give Them Edge Over India

Pakistan has never won a World Cup match (either in ODI or in T20I) against India, but that does not bother Babar Azam who believes familiarity with the UAE pitches will help them break the jinx.

“Definitely we have played a lot of cricket in the UAE,” Babar said in a captain’s press conference when asked about his team’s dismal 0-5 record against India in T20 World Cup clashes.

“These conditions suit us and we know how to play here. We need to keep things simple in all the departments.”

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

The UAE was Pakistan’s home base after the deadly terror attacks on the visiting Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009 forced cricket out of the Asian nation. Pakistan, who are third in the T20 rankings behind England and India, also has Afghanistan and New Zealand in their group at the World Cup. Babar Azam that captaining the team in the 16-nation tournament was indeed an honour and said his recent form will give him confidence.

“Good performances give you confidence,” Babar, who has hit two T20 centuries this year, said.

“I am in form, hence it will benefit me.”

Babar Azam, who has over 2,000 T20 runs, tipped Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson to stand out as the tournament’s best batter and Pakistan speedster Hasan Ali as the premier bowler. Pakistan made a few changes to their final 15 for the T20 World Cup late last month, bringing in experienced all-rounder Shoaib Malik back in the squad along with Haider Ali and Fakhar Zaman.

Virat Kohli Always Approached India-Pakistan Game As Another Cricket Game

Meanwhile, India captain Virat Kohli played down the famous rivalry, describing the match with Pakistan as “just another game”.

“I have always approached this game as just another game of cricket. I know there is a lot of hype created around this game more so with ticket sales and the demands for tickets,” said Kohli.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

“Right now the value of those tickets is ridiculously high. So that’s all I know, friends asking me for tickets left, right and center, I refused. Yes, the environment, you can say, is different. From the fans’ point of view, it is definitely louder. From the players’ point of view, we stay as professional as we can.”

Virat Kohli was the first cricketer to score 3000 T20I runs. The India captain reached the milestone in his 87th match in the shortest format. Virat Kohli averages over 50 in all 3 formats – Tests, ODIs, and T20Is. Virat Kohli, who debuted for India in August 2008, is 7th on the list of run-scorers in international cricket behind Sachin Tendulkar, Kumar Sangakkara, Ricky Ponting, Mahela Jayawardene, Jacques Kallis, and Rahul Dravid.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Babar Azam Optimistic About Pakistan’s Chances In T20I World Cup 2021

Babar Azam, Pakistan captain, is optimistic about the Pakistan team taking advantage of the conditions in place in the UAE during the forthcoming 2021 T20 World Cup.

The UAE has played host to Pakistan’s home games since 2009 after the militant attack in Sri Lanka cricketers’ bus. Although teams have started touring Pakistan in recent years, the UAE has hosted most of its games in the last decade or so.

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

Babar Azam: Record At UAE Is Excellent As The Conditions Really Suited Pakistan

Pakistan is quite familiar with the conditions in the UAE-which was their 2nd home after the attack. They had an impeccable record in the shortest format of the game under Mickey Arthur, claiming the top spot in the rankings.

Speaking about his team’s campaign in the 2021 T20 World Cup, Babar Azam sounded upbeat about Pakistan’s chances, saying: “Our record there is excellent, it’s the place where we became world No. 1. The performances we produced, both as a team and individually, show the conditions really suited us. Our record and consistency there is proof of that. These days we understand teams are playing more positive cricket, and we need to continue to do that, too.”

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021
Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021. Image Credits: Twitter

Pakistan heads into the T20 World Cup off a 1-0 series win in a rain-hit 4 matches T20I series over West Indies and a 2-1 series defeat against England. They had limited-overs series against England and New Zealand scheduled at home ahead of the T20 World Cup, but the tours never came to fruition.

Both boards pulled out at the last minute to tour Pakistan, citing security concerns and the wellbeing of players. New Zealand had even arrived there, but withdrew a few minutes before the toss happened.

Babar Azam: Pakistan Struggling In Middle Order And Death Bowling

Babar Azam outlined the shortcomings in the current Pakistan team looking to win their second T20 World Cup after 2009. The captain rued that the players selected have been unable to remain consistent for a significant period of time. That has resulted in players getting dropped, leading to more experimentation and newer combinations.

Babar Azam said: “We’re struggling in two areas, middle order and death bowling, and have done for some time. We’ve tried different combinations and tried to assess who could suit the team if they played in certain positions. It didn’t work out, unfortunately, but that’s cricket. “

Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Babar Azam continued in this regard: “If you select players, you cannot guarantee that they will perform. There are ups and downs, and the players we selected were chosen because they had performed elsewhere. You need to take your chances if you want to stay in the Pakistan team. You will have to perform consistently, otherwise you get demoted to the bench.”

Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali have replaced Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain, respectively, while Fakhar Zaman, originally named a travel reserve, has swapped places with Khushdil Shah. In addition, veteran batsman Shoaib Malik has been included in Pakistan’s Twenty20 World Cup squad, replacing top-order batsman Sohaib Maqsood, who was ruled out due to a back problem, selectors said Saturday.

akhar Zaman becomes first Pakistan batsman to score double century in ODI cricket | Photo Credit: AP
Fakhar Zaman becomes first Pakistan batsman to score double century in ODI cricket | Photo Credit: AP
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Shahid Afridi Feels Fakhar Zaman And Sharjeel Khan Should Open In T20s And He Isn’t Happy With Zaman’s Batting Spot

Shahid Afridi, the former Pakistan all-rounder, reckoned that the left-handed duo of Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan should open the batting for the Men in Green in the shortest format- T20 cricket. But, of late, Pakistan has used their skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan as their two openers in the shorter format.

But Shahid Afridi said that Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan possess the ability to put Pakistan in the driver’s seat in the powerplay itself. Sharjeel Khan has shown ominous form in the recent National T20 Cup, scoring 339 runs for Sindh with one century and a half-century in 9 matches averaging 37.66, but he isn’t in Pakistan’s squad for the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Sharjeel Khan plundered 338 runs in the 11 innings that he played in the PSL this year, averaging 30.75, and what was impressive was the fact that he scored his runs at a strike rate of close to 150. He has also played 21 T20Is for Pakistan and has amassed 406 runs in the international arena.

Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP

Shahid Afridi Feels Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan Should Be Pakistan’s Openers In T20Is

Fakhar Zaman, on the other hand, was initially a part of the travelling reserve for the event in the UAE. But he made his way into the main 15-member squad, swapping positions with Khushdil Shah, as PCB announced changes after the squad was selected.

“Everyone has their opinion but I think that Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan should be Pakistan’s openers in T20 cricket. Even if one of them clicks, we will win the game inside the first six overs,” Afridi was quoted as saying on his official YouTube channel.

Sharjeel Khan of Pakistan(Getty Images)
Sharjeel Khan of Pakistan(Getty Images)

Shahid Afridi, who last played international cricket in 2018, was of the opinion that Fakhar Zaman, who’s playing for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the National T20 Cup, isn’t equipped to bat in the middle order.

“I’m not happy with Fakhar Zaman’s batting position. I don’t know who has told him to bat at number five or six because he has played as an opener throughout his career. Our team needs an opener like him who can score as many runs as possible in the first six overs,” he stated.

Apart from roping in Fakhar Zaman, Pakistan made two more changes in their squad for the World Cup. They drafted Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali and left out Mohammad Hasnain and Azam Khan. Sohaib Maqsood was also finally ruled out of the showpiece event due to a sustained lower back injury and was replaced by senior batsman Shoaib Malik. Fakhar Zaman, originally named a travel reserve, has swapped places with Khushdil Shah.

Shahid Afridi: Azam Khan Needs To Work Really Hard On Form And Fitness

Shahid Afridi was clear-cut in saying that Azam Khan needs to work on his form and fitness to become a regular member of the Pakistan national squad.

“No, he [Azam Khan] should not be part of the side right now. He doesn’t have the required form and fitness. He needs to work really hard on them and especially his fitness,” Afridi added.

Azam Khan, the hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators, © Getty
Azam Khan, the hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators, © Getty

Azam Khan has featured in only three T20Is in his career and has aggregated only six runs in two innings. Still, his exploits in domestic T20 competitions had helped him seal a berth in the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 squad before he was dropped again for experienced Sarfaraz Ahmed.

Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik
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Shahid Afridi Tweets As He Feels Good To See Veteran Batsman Shoaib Malik Recalled In Pakistan Squad For 2021 T20 World Cup

Shahid Afridi, the former Pakistan skipper, has said that the addition of middle-order batsman Shoaib Malik into the T20 World Cup will hold the side in good stead once the tournament starts.

On Saturday, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) named former skipper Shoaib Malik as a replacement for Sohaib Maqsood for the ICC men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Shahid Afridi Feels Good To See Shoaib Malik Recalled For 2021 T20I World Cup

Sohaib Maqsood was finally ruled out of the showpiece event due to a sustained lower back injury and was replaced by senior batsman Shoaib Malik. Sohaib Maqsood had undergone MRI scans for the lower back on Thursday after picking up the injury during the October 6 match against Northern and consequently missed the October 7 match against Central Punjab.

“Good to see Shoaib Malik recalled for the T20 World Cup. As a senior and experienced player, he can contribute big time for Pakistan. All the best” tweeted Shahid Afridi.

Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs, and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP

“Sohaib is devastated to miss out on the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup as he had worked hard for this event and was in sparkling form. We feel for him but injuries are part and parcel of the sport. I am sure after undergoing rehabilitation, he’ll fully recover to be available for future assignments,” said chief selector Muhammad Wasim in a statement.

Shahid Afridi earlier stated that he was left in a state of confusion over the selection of some players. Shahid Afridi claimed that some changes could be made to the Pakistan squad before the mega event began, which happened as Pakistan selectors eventually made changes from the originally selected squad.

Shoaib Malik’s last T20I was in September 2020, and his last ODI was in June 2019. He played 35 Tests, 287 ODIs, and 116 T20Is, amassing over 10,000 runs in all three formats combined, averaging above 30 in each. Shoaib Malik became the first Pakistani batsman to score 10,000 runs in Twenty20 cricket in October 2020. He is married to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.

Shoaib Malik Captained Pakistan In The 2007 T20I World Cup

Shoaib Malik had captained Pakistan in the inaugural event in 2007 and was a member of the side that won the tournament in 2009. After missing the West Indies event in 2010, he featured in the next 3 T20I World cup tournaments- 2012, 2014, and 2016 tournaments. The Pakistan squad for the ICC men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will depart for Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on October 15.

Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters
Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters

They will play two warm-up matches against the West Indies and South Africa on October 18 and 20 before taking on India in a Group-2 fixture on October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali have replaced Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain, respectively, while Fakhar Zaman, originally named a travel reserve, has swapped places with Khushdil Shah. In addition, veteran batsman Shoaib Malik has been included in Pakistan’s Twenty20 World Cup squad, replacing top-order batsman Sohaib Maqsood, who was ruled out due to a back problem.

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