Watch: Simon Doull, Aamer Sohail argue on live TV, caught in fiery on-air exchange over Babar Azam's strike rate
While Babar Azam's place in the squad itself is seldom questioned, there is always a debate over whether he should continue to open for Pakistan or come in at No.3
Babar Azam may be recognised as one of the best batters in the world but his place in the Pakistan T20 squad has been a subject of debate for a long time. While Babar's place in the squad itself is seldom questioned, there is always a debate over whether he should continue to open for Pakistan or come in at No.3
The debate reared its head again during Pakistan's 2nd T20I against Afghanistan in Sharjah. Babar and his regular opening partner Mohammad Rizwan are not playing in the squad and it is Saim Ayub and Mohammad Haris who are filling in the slots. Former New Zealand pacer and commentator Simon Doull is of the opinion that Pakistan should stick with the two players as their opening pair. However, his co-commentator Aamer Sohail felt it is Babar who should continue in the slot. Here is how their conversation panned out:
Doull: Babar Azam is hands down the best No 3 batsman in the world. He should not open for Pakistan. Saim and Haris should open with Rizwan in T20Is.
Sohail: The T20 teams are selected on the basis of averages and not strike rates. The averages are more important than strike rates. I dont care about the strike rate, I look for the average. If you talk about best players in T20I like Chris Gayle and AB De Villiers, what is the strike-rate between 135 and 137?
Doull: Chris Gayle. AB De Villiers is 145
Sohail: 137 in international cricket.
Doull: What's Babar's?
Sohail did not respond to that clearly enough. De Villiers had a strike rate of 135.16 in 78 T20I matches. However, he boasted a strike rate of 150.13 in his T20 career which panned 340 matches. Gayle, on the other hand, had a strike rate of 137.50 in 79 matches in T20 internationals. His overall strike rate in his T20 career was 144.75 overa a whopping 455 innings.
Babar has a strike rate of 127.80 in 94 T20I innings. Overall, he has a strike rate of 128.46 in 246 T20 innings.