Ahead of Pakistan’s must-win game, and by a huge margin, against England in Kolkata, Babar Azam talked openly in the press conference about the criticism he’s been getting from many former Pakistani cricketers for his team and his own performances in the World Cup 2023. However, fans pointed out that Babar’s answer was almost exactly similar to the one Virat Kohli gave last year.
Pakistan face England on Saturday in Kolkata, where they need to win by 287 runs to surpass New Zealand’s NRR and finish at number 4, and reach the semi-finals. It looks almost impossible, more so because the pitch in Kolkata has been tough for batting.
Babar spoke his mind about the criticism he’s been receiving from a number of ex-Pakistani players. The Pakistan team has not performed to the expectations, which included an 8-wicket loss to Afghanistan, and so hasn’t Babar, who has scored 282 runs at an average of 40 and is yet to hit a century.
Babar Azam replied: “It’s very easy to give opinion on TV. If someone wishes to offer advice, they are welcome to call me directly, my number is known to everyone,” Babar said.
This reminded fans of Virat Kohli’s statement last year in September when he said that except for MS Dhoni, none of the former cricketers called him during his lean period with the bat or when he left Test captaincy despite huge success.
Kohli had said: “When I left my test captaincy, only Dhoni called me, nobody else did, even though many had my number. If I want to suggest something to somebody, I will reach out to them personally and tell them what I think and what needs to be done, rather than publically going and speaking about it.”
Video: Babar Azam “copied” Virat Kohli’s answer:
— Tasneem Hanif 🇮🇳 (@TasneemKhatai) November 10, 2023