Former Pakistan leg spinner Danish Kaneria has called on Pakistan’s other batters to step up their game instead of relying solely on skipper Babar Azam to perform single-handedly in all matches. He also criticized Babar Azam for focusing on his individual performance by scoring runs for himself instead of the team’s cause.
Kaneria’s critical remarks came after Pakistan’s 1-2 ODI series loss to New Zealand at home earlier this month. The Men in Green registered a convincing six-wicket victory in the first game but completely lost the plot in the next two games, resulting in a series loss.
“If you see this Indian team, they are full of match winners. But on the Pakistan side, we heavily depend on Babar Azam in all three formats, and he only scores for himself. Babar Azam continues to score his own 50-60 runs and the team doesn’t benefit from that at all, and it’s just causing losses. Babar never scores for the team’s cause,” Kaneria said on his YouTube channel.
He also talked about Pakistan’s inability to exploit home conditions to their advantage, similar to arch-rivals India who have registered back-to-back ODI series victories on home soil this month against Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
“We need to realize all this and learn from other countries like India who are exploiting their conditions. But here we are afraid of getting exposed in our own conditions,” the cricketer-turned-YouTuber said.
While Babar Azam did score a match-winning 66 in the first ODI and a valiant 79 in the second, he failed to make his bat do the talking in the series decider as he walked back to the pavilion after scoring a painstaking four runs of 13 deliveries. Kaneria’s comments highlight the need for the Pakistan team to have a more balanced approach and not rely on one player to carry the team, and for the other players to step up and take on more responsibility.