Despite his rising stock as a limited overs batsman, Babar Azam has recently hogged conversation for his strike rate in the shortest format of the game. Despite not being part of the series against Afghanistan after being rested alongside other senior players. During the second T20I between Afghanistan and Pakistan on Sunday, Babar's strike rate' was brought up again in the commentary box, which sparked a heated debate between Simon Doull and Aamer Sohail.
Doull, who had earlier criticised Babar Azam for his strike rate during the Pakistan Super League, went back and forth with Aamer Sohail on the topic. The short debate focused on average strike rates.
Doull hailed Azam as the best No. 3 batsman in the world but questioned his role as an opener.
"Babar Azam is hands down the best #3 batsman in the world. He should not open for Pakistan. Saim and Haris should open with Rizwan in T20Is." he said.
Sohail replied, "T20 teams are selected on the basis of averages and not strike rates. The averages are more important than strike rates," Sohail argued.
Sohail then gave the examples of Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers, comparing their strike rates in T20I cricket.
"I don't care about the strike rate, I look for the average. If you talk about the best players in T20I like Chris Gayle and AB De Villiers, what is the strike rate between 135 and 137?" Aamer asserted.
Doull then had him corrected, saying Gayle's strike rate is 158 and De Villiers' is 145. Sohail then claimed that the South African batter's strike-rate is actually 137 in T20 internationals.
"What's Babar's strike rate?" Doull then asked Sohail who didn't fully answer the question. The former Pakistan star said, "last time I checked...." and concluded his point before mentioning the strike rate.
It is further important to note, that while Chris Gayle had a strike rate of 137.50 in 79 T20Is for West Indies, his overall struck at 144.75 in 455 T20 innings and had a staggering strike rate of 148.96 in the IPL.
Meanwhile, AB de Villiers boasted a strike rate of a whopping 150.13 in his overall T20 career and struck at 151.69 in the IPL.
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