'Wonder if he got a tweet from Virat Kohli?': Former cricketers react as Babar Azam returns to form against New Zealand
The world of cricket could not keep calm as Pakistan captain Babar Azam ended his slump and returned to form with a half-century against New Zealand in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup on Wednesday.
The cricketing fraternity could not keep calm as Pakistan captain Babar Azam ended his slump and returned to form against New Zealand in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup on Wednesday. Babar, who in the previous five matches had struggled to breach even the 50-run mark, struck a half-century in the crucial knockout fixture as Pakistan defeated last-year's runner-up by seven wickets to enter the final.
Babar scored 53 off 42 balls, a knock that featured seven boundaries from the Pakistan captain as he and Mohammad Rizwan gave the team an explosive start. Chasing 153 to win, Babar and Rizwan raised their 9th century partnership in T20Is and put on 105 runs in 12.4 overs. Babar, who was dropped in the first ever itself, eventually perished holing out in the deep off the bowling of Trent Boult but the Pakistan captain had done his job.
Babar's half-century was taken notice of by numerous former cricketers. In fact, former New Zealand pacer Simon Doull and Australia great Adam Gilchrist, who were on commentary when Babar reached his fifty, namedropped Virat Kohli and wondered whether the star India batter had sent out a tweet as the reason behind the Pakistan captain's return to form.
"Wonder if he got a tweet from Virat Kohli? When Virat was going through his slump, Babar sent him a very nice message. Not sure if he's heard one back or not?" Doull said on air, to which Gilchrist replied saying: "I think the world is no scrolling through Twitter-verse, looking for any action at all between the two superstars. Not sure if Kohli and Babar have had a word with each other."
Other former and current cricketers to react to Babar's half-century included Hasan Ali, Suresh Raina, Mohammad Kaif and Morne Morkel as they tweeted their appreciation for the Pakistan star. Below are their tweets.
For those unaware of the Kohli-Babar context, take note that when Virat was going through poor form, Babar had sent out a hear-warming tweet, which read: "This too shall pass. Stay strong, Virat Kohli." Kohli replying to Babar, acknowledged the wishes and replied saying: "Thank you. Keep shining and rising. Wish you all the best."
Babar's wish triggered Kohli's stunning revival in form, as in the Asia Cup, the former India captain burned up the charts scoring 273 runs in the tournament and was its highest run-getter. Kohli's form has continued in the ongoing World Cup, where with 246 runs, he once again is right on top of the leading run-scorer list. In the three matches that India and Pakistan have played since the start of the Asia Cup, Kohli has scored 35, 60 and 82 not out.
"The way the team performed in the last three matches... Thanks to the crowd, feels like we are playing at home. We had a good start in the first six overs and later on we had a good spin attack. The fast bowlers also finished very well. Our plan before going inside was to utilise the first six overs and later on everyone can come and chip in. I think he [Haris] is a young guy and showing his aggression. We will enjoy this moment, but at the same time we will focus on the final," Babar said after the match.
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