Mohammad Hafeez recalls conversation with Babar Azam over batting position

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Mohammad Hafeez, former director of Pakistan Cricket Team, recalled how he convinced Babar Azam to bat at number three in Twenty20 Internationals.

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It is pertinent to mention that former all-format captain Babar Azam has been batting at number three in the shortest version. The decision to not open the innings with the star batter was made by the management as part of the reshuffling process after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.

Saim Ayub has been playin as Pakistan’s T20I opener instead of Babar Azam since then.

Mohammad Hafeez recalled him having discussions with veterans Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan regarding their batting positions and their roles in the team on A Sports show ‘The Pavilion.’

 

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He said that he told them to think about the team instead of themselves.

“It took me about two months to convince Babar Azam that you have to do it for Pakistan and you are not the first one who’s doing it,” Mohammad Hafeez said. “You are a great player, you are a wonderful player, and you play great cricket. However, you have to develop a Pakistan team.

You [Babar Azam] and [Mohammad] Rizwan are very good players, excellent players, but you are not the whole team.”

He added, “We need to develop a team and, for that, I want you to come, at number 3 because you have been playing this role in ODI cricket for the last six years, so it won’t affect you. Technically, you are very solid. Thank you very much to him that he accepted this, and he played for Pakistan at No. 3 which obviously, I think is the best way to move.”

 

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It is pertinent to mention that Babar Azam had an impressive outing the in the five-match T20I series against hosts New Zealand. The right-handed batter amassed 213 runs at an average of 42.6 and a strike rate of 142 with three consecutive fifties to his name.

Related – PSL 9: Mohammad Amir reveals his on-field discussion with Babar Azam

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