Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Iconic India batsman Sunil Gavaskar believes Pakistan captain Babar Azam is free from the pressure of having to constantly score runs for the team.
Gavaskar noted that the ongoing 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup has shown Pakistan are no longer reliant on the 29-year-old as other batmen have stepped up and made their presence felt.
These batsmen include Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique and in the last couple of games, Fakhar Zaman.
Saud Shakeel also deserves a special mention as he has been solid in the middle order and contributed with valuable knocks.
“More than anything else, Pakistan would have realised that they do not have to depend on Babar. And if Babar fails, there are other batters who are there to score the runs,” Gavaskar told Star Sports as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
“And I think that is such an important thing for Babar himself because the pressure will not be on him that he has to score all the time.”
In the World Cup, Azam has scored 282 runs in eight matches, which includes four fifties, at an average of 40.28.
Pakistan started off by winning their first two games against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka before losing four in a row to India, Australia, Afghanistan and South Africa.
The men in green stopped their downward slide and kept themselves in the running for a semi-final spot after rebounding to beat Bangladesh and New Zealand.
They will now take on England on November 11 in Kolkata.
Pakistan Squad for 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali