Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Former England captain Nasser Hussain said the 2022 T20 World Cup was the first time he has seen Pakistan skipper Babar Azam out of form.
In that tournament, the 28-year-old was woefully ineffective with the bat, scoring 124 runs in seven matches, which included a top score of 53, at an average of 17.71 and a strike-rate of 93.23.
Despite this, the men in green managed to come together as a team and make it to the final, even after being on the brink of elimination after losing their first two games to India and Zimbabwe.
Hussain pointed out that other than the ICC event last year, he has always seen Azam perform well or at least look in good touch.
“He’s carrying a batting line-up, in the World T20 I think it was the first time I have ever since Babar looked out of nick,” he told Cricwick as quoted by NDTV.
Azam is now leading the Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), where he has amassed 416 runs in nine matches, which includes a century and four fifties, at an average of 52 and a strike-rate of 146.47.
His side managed to make it into the playoffs and they will take on Islamabad United in the Eliminator on Thursday.
Pakistan will play three T20Is against Afghanistan after the PSL from March 25 to 28, but Azam has been rested for the series.
Peshawar Zalmi Squad for PSL 8: Babar Azam, Sherfane Rutherford, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Haris, Aamir Jamal, Salman Irshad, Tom-Kohler Cadmore, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Rovman Powell, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Danish Aziz, Arshad Iqbal, Saim Ayub, Usman Qadir, Suifyan Muqeem, Haseebullah, Jimmy Neesham, Khurram Shahzad, Haris Sohail, Richard Gleeson (partial replacement for Rovman Powell), Peter Hatzoglou (partial replacement for Mujeeb ur Rahman), Shakib Al Hasan (available for playoffs), Azmatullah Omarzai
Pakistan squad for T20I series against Afghanistan: Shadab Khan (capt), Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris (wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir, Zaman Khan
Reserve players: Abrar Ahmed, Haseebullah, Usama Mir