Shoaib Malik Questions Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan’s Roles After Pakistan’s Loss to India

Shoaib Malik criticizes Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan

In a highly-anticipated T20 World Cup 2024 clash, Pakistan suffered a disappointing loss to India on June 9 at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York. Chasing a modest target of 120 runs, Pakistan fell short, scoring only 113/7 in their allotted 120 balls. Jasprit Bumrah played a crucial role for India, taking key wickets of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, who managed just 13 off 10 balls and 31 off 44 balls, respectively.

This subpar performance has drawn heavy criticism from former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik. Speaking on a local channel, Malik questioned the contributions of Babar and Rizwan in such a straightforward chase.

“If Babar (Azam) and Mohammad (Rizwan) don’t have a role in a chase of 120, then when is their role? This was a perfect opportunity for them to counter criticisms about their strike rates. It was a big match, and they could have turned their form around,” Malik stated.

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Rizwan’s dismissal, in particular, has been a focal point of critique. Malik was perplexed by Rizwan’s inability to assess the situation and adapt accordingly. “I didn’t understand that shot from Rizwan. With their main bowler back, he should have realized the importance of holding his ground. As an experienced player and PSL captain, he should know better,” Malik added.

Had Pakistan won, it would have marked only their second World Cup victory against India, with the first coming in the 2021 T20 World Cup under Babar’s leadership. Despite reaching the semi-finals in 2021 and the final in 2022, Pakistan’s path to the Super-8s in this edition is now uncertain, hinging on various scenarios.

Pakistan will next face Canada on June 11 and Ireland on June 16 as they strive to advance in the tournament.

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