Islamabad United’s explosive batter, Azam Khan, has come to the defense of Peshawar Zalmi skipper, Babar Azam, after the latter was recently criticized for a slow strike rate.
During game 12 of the PSL between Zalmi and United, the former collapsed after the powerplay. Despite this, skipper Babar raced to a half-century in just 33 balls. However, his next 25 deliveries only produced 25 runs.
On the other hand, Azam, during game 13 of the PSL between United and Gladiators, played a phenomenal knock of 97 runs from 42 balls. Coming in to bat when United were struggling at 43-3, Azam finished his innings with a staggering strike rate of 230.95.
Addressing game 13’s post-match press conference, Azam was questioned about the difference in his approach compared to Babar’s. In response, the 24-year-old explained that opening and middle order are two different positions, with middle-order having fewer deliveries to face.
Azam further added that the strike rate is more critical than averages, and Babar had to be cautious as he was stranded at one end.
Middle order is not an easy place to bat. If you are 40 for 4 in the powerplay, or you are 120 for 3, you will have to finish things off. People usually see averages, but T20 is all about impact. Babar is right, that if your team is six down, then at the end, you have to carry your team. Criticizing a world-class player like him is unfair. My mindset is different when I play.
Azam also started slowly, with 25 runs off 20 balls, before hitting his first six against Gladiators. He then went on to score an impressive 72 runs in just 21 balls, ending with a scorching strike rate of 343. Azam’s outstanding performance undoubtedly proves that he is a force to be reckoned with.