'Babar would be upset with this. Kare kya vo?': Journalist asks Afridi after he criticises PAK captain's shot selection

Updated on Aug 17, 2022 10:56 PM IST

Shahid Afridi said that he would have wanted Babar Azam to score a century in the first ODI against Netherlands.

Shahid Afridi; Babar Azam(File)
Shahid Afridi; Babar Azam(File)

Pakistan captain Babar Azam produced another brilliant performance during the first ODI of the series against the Netherlands on Tuesday. Babar scored 74 off 85 deliveries, forging a 168-run stand alongside Fakhar Zaman after opener Imam-ul-Haq (2) fell early in the innings. Fakhar scored a century (109) as Pakistan put a strong score of 314/6 in the match. The visitors eventually won by 16 runs in Hazelaarweg.

Babar was dismissed while playing for a big short on a length delivery from Logan van Beek. He miscued the ball close to the body high in the air towards mid-off, where Tom Cooper picked an easy catch.

Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi wasn't too pleased with the dismissal, insisting that he wanted the star batter to score a century in the game.

“Ball keeps swinging there. Babar and Fakhar played an outstanding innings. But I rate Babar highly, so I think it was a good opportunity for him to score a hundred. There was no need to play a shot like that. Fakhar was playing with him. I liked his innings too,” Afridi said on Samaa TV.

To this, the reporter in the conversation pointed out that it's a tricky situation for Babar, insisting that people criticise him for being selfish if he plays slow, and conversely are critical of him of being careless if he tries to up the ante.

“I think even Babar would be upset with this - ‘if I play slow, people would say ”he is playing a selfish innings." If I play fast, people would say “he could have scored a hundred”.’ What should he do then?" reporter asks Afridi.

To this, the former Pakistan captain says that Babar doesn't need to pay attention to the outside noise.

“I don't think Babar needs to take pressure over these things. He doesn't need to bother himself with what other people are saying. His performance speaks for himself. And he is playing brilliantly. I just said that when Fakhar is playing like that, you don't need to take chances. I only wanted him to score a hundred,” said Afridi.

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