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Australia batting legend Ricky Ponting said Pakistan spinner Shadab Khan was trying to settle captain Babar Azam down during the 2022 T20 World Cup.
Ponting noted that Azam looked “flustered at times” during the tournament, especially during the nail-biting game against India.
He added that Shadab and some of the other senior players were also helping the 28-year-old clear his mind and “think a little bit clearer”.
Azam was not at his best during the T20 World Cup as he finished with 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 his poor performance with the bat, Pakistan were able to reach the final, where they ended up losing to England.
“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 said while speaking on The ICC Review.
“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.”
Most recently, Azam captained the Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and finished as the second-highest run-scorer in the competition.
In the 11 matches he played, he accumulated 522 runs, which included a century and five fifties, at an average of 52.20 and a strike-rate of 145.40.
Azam was rested for Pakistan’s three-match T20I series against Afghanistan in Sharjah, which meant that Shadab took over as captain. However, the men in green were beaten 2-1.
Pakistan’s next assignment will be five T20Is and five ODIs against New Zealand on home soil, which will begin on April 14.
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