In the midst of Pakistan's campaign in the 2023 World Cup, Shoaib Akhtar, the former Pakistani speedster, has offered his support to Pakistan's captain, Babar Azam, who has faced back-to-back challenges with the bat in the tournament. While acknowledging Babar's recent struggles, Akhtar expressed his confidence in the skipper's potential to shine in significant matches.
In his latest YouTube video, Shoaib Akhtar had this to say: “Yes, Babar Azam could not do well again. But we have found another player like Babar Azam in Abdullah Shafique. Babar is obviously a great player, but you need to go out there and perform in bigger games like these. I am sure he will be able to do that in days to come. I hope he is able to play a good knock in a big match.”
Babar Azam hasn't played a big knock in World Cup 2023 yet
Babar Azam, the No. 1 ranked ODI batter, has faced scrutiny for his recent performances in ODI cricket. In the ongoing World Cup, his struggles continued as he registered scores of 5 and 10 against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, respectively.
Tap on the back of my boys for never saying never. @iMRizwanPak & Abdullah building on the momentum after brilliant death bowling.— Babar Azam (@babarazam258) October 10, 2023
Thank you Hyderabad for the incredible support! 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/cdcssiy8Hv
Shoaib Akhtar also addressed Pakistan's bowling performance, which faced criticism after conceding 344 runs against Sri Lanka. Akhtar attributed this to the lack of ODI cricket in Pakistan and urged fans not to be too harsh on the bowlers. He remained hopeful that talents like Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf would make a strong comeback in the upcoming matches.
Akhtar emphasized his support for the team and its bowlers, stating: “I have my fingers crossed for the match against India. I really want Pakistan to go out there and do well. I won't criticize Pakistan's bowling. These are our own kids, and we should back them. These are not ODI bowlers; how can you expect them to be successful in this format? This same bowling unit will start to perform in the upcoming two or three matches. I can understand the disappointment, but don't give up on them.”
As Pakistan's World Cup journey continues, Shoaib Akhtar's words serve as a reminder of the ups and downs in sports and the importance of supporting the team, even in challenging times. Pakistan fans will hope for a resurgence from Babar Azam and the entire squad in the crucial fixtures ahead.