Posted 1 years ago

Cricket T20 World Cup

Babar Azam’s slump in form

Babar Azam’s slump in form
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Babar Azam is no stranger to experiencing a slump in form and has often had his run rate scrutinized. Through it all, he has remained a key batter in the top order of Pakistan and holds the record for being the fourth highest run scorer in the T20Is following the last World Cup.

 However, his performance at the ongoing World Cup has been dismal and for the first time, hisill-timed and ill-executed shots give the impression that he is suffering from a more serious slump in form. The trademark elegance and control that characterizes Azam’s game is currently missing with his highest score so far, a mere 25 runs.

More alarming than the lack of runs is the stumbling performances he has been delivering, which include faulty pace, indecision, and poor tempo.

 Azam is also known to be a private figure and it has been difficult to ascertain the reason for the drop in form, and if the pressure of being the team captain has also been weighing him down.

However, as Pakistan have a diverse and strong line-up of batters and bowlers, Azam is expected to be able to focus on his batting without exerting much for his role as the captain.

 There are several probable reasons for Azam’s disappointing performances including the nature of his batting, especially during the power play. The top order having drawn some criticism, it is possible that Azam has been trying to score a higher number of runs earlier, leading to errors.

 It has also been suggested that Mohammed’s typical slow start to his runs, has been pushing Azam to take a larger number of risks. Rizwan has successfully deployed his strategy so far on several occasions, including when he scored 55 runs off 44 balls against Namibia in last year’s World Cup, only to go onto score 24 in the final over.

The correlation is borne out by data which reveals that in 28 innings played with Rizwan, Azam was dismissed by an attacking shot in the powerplay times, which did not happen even once in 11 innings played alongside other players. Moreover, the percentage of attacking shots played by Azam has increased from 23% to 30%, since partnering with Rizwan.

 Furthermore, prior to his partnership with Rizwan, Babar Azam had a strike rate of 140, with an average of 46 runs, which has since dropped to a strike rate of 127 and an average of 33. This suggests that Pakistan may need to rethink the partnership between the two players.

However, amidst the unimpressive performances of Azam and Rizwan, the middle-order of the Pakistani national team has had the opportunity to prove its potential, and an improvement in form is expected to benefit Babar Azam himself, more than the team, whose diverse talent has been able to keep the ship afloat.

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