‘He got a little bit flustered against India at MCG’- Ricky Ponting on Pakistan captain Babar Azam

Ponting also spoke about Babar Azam's batting after he was named ICC Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year 2022.

Babar Azam argues with umpire during T20 WC 2022 match vs India at MCG | GettyFormer Australia captain Ricky Ponting feels that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam got flustered and carried away during the crunch game against India in the recent T20 World Cup 2022 which was played at the MCG in front of a record crowd.

Virat Kohli played one of the all-time great T20 knocks, scoring 82* in 53 balls, and took India to a close 3-wicket win off the last ball of an enthralling encounter which saw the match being in the pocket of Pakistan till the 18th over of the Indian innings.

Kohli then hit Shaheen Afridi for a couple of boundaries and then with 28 runs needed in 8 balls, slammed Haris Rauf for two sixes on the last two balls of the 19th over.

The equation came down to 16 runs off the last six balls. That was when Babar handed the ball to Mohammed Nawaz who almost got through the over before overstepping. The no ball was launched for a maximum by Kohli. At this point, the Pakistan skipper lost his cool and rushed to the umpire to express his displeasure.

Babar Azam bags ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year award for 2022; Nat Sciver declared winner in Women’s category

Babar and team Pakistan had a seemingly over-the-top celebration when Dinesh Karthik was dismissed with 2 runs needed off 2 balls, but Nawaz bowled a wide the next ball, and R Ashwin got the winning runs off the last ball with ease.

I must admit he looked like he got a little bit flustered at times at the T20 World Cup, certainly the game against India when things got really tight at the end. You could see a few of the senior players, Shadab Khan in particular, going over to him and trying to settle him down and just make him think a little bit clearer," Ponting was quoted by ICC.  

Ponting continued: “But that’s the T20 game. Being a captain of the T20 team is never an easy thing to do, especially in a World Cup, and especially in a moment that was as big as that one was when things were getting really tight. I’m sure with a bit more experience under his belt, like he’s done with his batting, I’m sure he’ll find the right way to lead and be a very successful captain of Pakistan.”

Babar Azam was named the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year 2022 for amassing 679 runs at a stunning average of 84.87 in the nine matches he played in 2022.

So I think Babar’s still got a little bit of improvement to come, which is a pretty scary thought with what he’s been able to do, pretty much across all three formats over the last three, four years. I love watching him play. I think there’s some room for improvement, let’s hope we see it,” Ponting concluded.


By Jatin Sharma - 27 Jan, 2023

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