'He feels that Pakistan team revolves around his batting': Gavaskar's interesting take on Babar's 'fear of failure'
Former India cricketer Rohan Gavaskar has dismissed the criticism over Babar's style of play as he believes he is a quality player who can shift gears as well.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam is currently one of the best batters across all formats of the sport. The 27-year-old has single-handedly won many matches for his team in the past couple of years. Known more for his textbook batting technique instead of being a power-hitter with improvised shots, Babar's reputation is on the rise without a shadow of a doubt. In T20I format, the batter is often criticized for not being able to shift gears and score at a rapid strike rate, and some pundits and fans even label him as a one-dimensional batter.
Former India cricketer Rohan Gavaskar has dismissed the criticism over Babar's style of play as he believes he is a quality player. Gavaskar underlined the Pakistan star's numbers to explain his point while talking on Sports18.
"To call him a one-dimensional player is a little harsh because he is a quality-quality player. And if anything, the numbers suggest that he is not one-dimensional. The fact that he can change gears and you look at his numbers from the first innings to the second innings," said Gavaskar.
"In the first innings, his strike rate is about 125; in the second innings his strike rate is about 137, which shows that he has the ability to change gears," added the former India player.
Gavaskar further explained the logic behind Babar's defensive approach as a batter. He said that it might be due to his team's weak middle order, which puts extra responsibility on the Pakistan captain.
"I think it is a mental mindset with Babar. Fear of failure. And when I say fear of failure, I don’t mean fear of failure as a batter. I could be wrong here; he feels that the Pakistan team revolves around his batting. So, when he is batting first, he feels that he’s got to stay long because if he fails, the team might fail and that can sometimes shackle a player," explained Gavaskar.
Babar had a dry run with form during the Asia Cup 2022 but he has roared to form with some runs under his belt in the ongoing series against England. He even slammed a fine century in the second T20I, which put helped him eclipse Virat Kohli as the second-fastest batter to hit 8,000 runs in the 20-over format. Babar achieved the special feat in 218 innings while Kohli reached the milestone in 243 appearances.