Pakistan captain Babar Azam congratulates David Warner on his century in Bengaluru. (Photo: AP)
Pakistan captain Babar Azam slumped to his second successive loss in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 as five-time world champions Australia thrashed them by 62 runs at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday. Babar once again failed with the bat, scoring just 18 as Pakistan were bundled out for 305 in 45.3 overs – chasing 368 to win.
It was Pakistan’s second loss on the trot, losing to arch-rivals India by seven wickets in Ahmedabad, after starting the World Cup 2023 with two impressive wins. Babar Azam revealed the reason why Pakistan suffered this massive loss to the Australians.
The Pakistan skipper attributed the loss to Pakistan’s woeful fielding especially their expensive drop of Australian opener David Warner, who went on to score 163 after leg-spinner Usama Mir dropped him on 10 off Shaheen Shah Afridi’s bowling.
“We were not up to the mark with the ball. And if you drop the catch of someone like Warner, he won’t spare you. This is a big scoring ground, margin of error is very less. Whole credit to fast bowlers and spinners for the way we pulled it back in last few overs,” Babar Azam said in the post-match presentation.
Pakistan opener Abdullah Shafique, who scored 64 off 61 balls and put on 134 runs for the opening wicket with Imam-ul-Haq to put up semblance of a fight, tried to defend the Pakistan fielders. “Catches obviously change your game, you get wickets and you get into momentum. All fielders are trying to do their best, but sometimes you don’t get that value. But we have given a good fight,” Shafique said after the match on Friday.
Babar Azam has been one of the worst performing captains with the bat, averaging only 20.75 although he is the number one batter in the world. He praised his bowlers, led by Shaheen Shah Afridi’s five-wicket, who managed to restrict Australia to 367 after an opening stand of 259 runs.
Worst batting average by a captain in 2023 World Cup:
Shakib Al Hasan – 18.33.
Temba Bavuma – 19.66.
Babar Azam – 20.75.
Pat Cummins – 21.50. pic.twitter.com/9H3JeL38ff
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) October 20, 2023
“Just tried to hit the length and hit the stumps. Message was simple – we can do it, we’ve done it in the past. Ball came on well under lights. We couldn’t get big partnerships in the middle overs. Need to be better in the first 10 overs with the ball, and better in the middle overs with the bat,” Babar felt.
Pakistan will next take on Afghanistan at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Monday.