'Jo TV pe baithe hain, vo...': Babar Azam's savage response to 'personal criticism' after Pakistan reach T20 WC final

Nov 09, 2022 08:00 PM IST

Babar Azam had a rather straightforward response to criticism about his form and the team's performances in the T20 World Cup after Pakistan reached the final of the tournament on Wednesday.

Pakistan had a scintillating outing in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup against New Zealand, defeating the high-flying Kiwis by 7 wickets in Sydney. The Babar Azam-led side restricted New Zealand to 152/4 in 20 overs and chased down the target with five balls to spare, with the captain (53) and Mohammad Rizwan (57) returning to run-scoring in a massive boost for the side.

Babar Azam(YouTube)
Babar Azam(YouTube)

The duo had faced significant criticism over some time on its strike rate in the opening overs of the match; it didn't help both, Babar and Rizwan that they went through a rough patch in the World Cup, with the former taking four innings to breach double figures. However, on Wednesday against New Zealand, the batters broke the shackles and hit 55 runs in the Powerplay without losing a wicket, and eventually scored brilliant half-centuries to take the game away from the BlackCaps.

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Even as Babar and Rizwan were dismissed within three overs in the innings, Pakistan didn't struggle to chase down the target as Mohammad Haris (30) continued on his explosive run in the tournament. Following the match, Babar addressed the post-match press conference where he spoke in detail about the criticism he and Rizwan faced from the former Pakistan stars.

When Babar was asked whether the team management thought about sending the Pakistan captain at no.3 – which was what most cricket experts in Pakistan were suggesting following Babar's poor patch – the skipper had a rather straightforward response.

“Mere khyaal se zehen me aisa kuch nahi tha. Ham apne waqt ka wait kar rahe the. Ye cricket hai, aap koshish karte hain ki aap har match me perform karein. Par ups and downs chalte rehte hain. Tanqeed sab hi karte hain, ham achha bhi karte hain toh vo karte hain. Ye jeet aap enjoy karein, Pakistan me jo aawam hai, aur jo yahan pe crowd tha, vo bhi enjoy karein, aur jo TV pe baithe hain, vo bhi enjoy karein. (No, we didn't think like that. We were just waiting for our time. You try to perform in every game but ups and downs are part of the game. Everybody criticises, even if we perform well. Now, just enjoy the win, Pakistan fans should enjoy this and those sitting in television channels should also do the same),” Babar said.

In another question regarding criticism on him from former Pakistan stars, Babar stated that he has no problems with it as long as it isn't personal.

“Agar aapko tanqeed kar raha hai… vo mujhe nahi, meri team ko kar rahe the. Har ek ka apna opinion hota hai, lekin personal nahi hona chahiye. Achhi tanqeed karenge toh har banda dekhta hai. Aap bhi karte hain, par aap har cheez ko dekhke karte hain. Personal hona... ham kuch nahi kar sakte. Bas enjoy karein ki ham final me pohoch gaye. (My team was being criticised. Everyone has their opinion, but you shouldn't get personal. If it's productive criticism, everyone listens. You also criticise us, but you see everything. We can't do anything if they get personal. Let's just enjoy that we have reached the final),” Babar said with a wry smile.

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