Babar Azam has been subjected to a fierce critisism for his poor strike-rate in international cricket and he was questioned again after Peshawar Zalmi's defeat by Shadab Khan’s Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) match on Thursday. Islamabad United won the toss and opted to field. Batting first, Peshawar scored 156/8 in 20 overs with Babar Azam top-scoring an unbeaten 75. In reply, Islamabad achieved the target in just 14.5 overs, Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored 62 off 31 balls and Rassie van der Dussen smashed 42 off 29 balls.
However, Babar was again questioned about his strike-rate despite scoring a half-century. During the post-match conference, a journalist questioned the skipper about it, Babar said, “Aur kitna accha [strike rate] chahiye aapko? 300 kar lein? Koshish hai (How much better do you want? Why not 300? I am trying to reach there as well)”
The reporter then said, “you are batting brilliantly, I am not questioning you on that…you are World No.1 but it is said that you can improve your strike rate in T20s.”
To this, Babar replied, “People talk when I bat at a good strike rate as well, so that doesn’t bother me. In the first 10 overs, I was striking at 160 and when we were 6 down, there you don’t focus on increasing your strike rate, rather I would build a partnership then and that was my plan in today’s innings. When you build a certain momentum, you try to carry it for long unless it gets broken by a wicket or two, or when you are not able to hit. Then my plan was to build a partnership after the 10-over mark because I told Shanaka that we’ll play normally till 15 overs and then take the charge. Then we lost back-to-back wickets and in that process, the strike rate is bound to come down and it was still 150.”
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