Shoaib Akhtar, the former Pakistan paceman, has called for Babar Azam to up his game and establish himself as Pakistan’s key match-winner.
Babar scored a brilliant 69 in the first innings of the Manchester Test against England, but was dismissed cheaply in the second innings, contributing with just five as Pakistan lost the match by three wickets.
“Babar Azam has to come out with something good, because you cannot create a name like this. You might be a good player, but you have to establish yourself as a match-winner,” Akhtar said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
Earlier, former England captain Nasser Hussain had demanded more respect for Babar, saying the Pakistan vice-captain is part of the top five Test batsmen in the world.
- Pakistan should take heart from their record in England: Mohammad Yousuf
- Nasser Hussain: If Babar’s innings for Pakistan against England was Kohli, everyone would be talking
- Cricket: Pakistan's Babar Azam punishes sloppy England in first Test
- Showcase the ‘90s brand of cricket, Shoaib Akhtar tells Pakistan team in England
“I think it is a real shame and it is in part a consequence of Pakistan playing away from home, playing in the UAE all the time in front of no one, Pakistan hiding in the shadow of Indian cricket, not going over and playing IPL cricket, not playing India,” Hussain told Sky Sports following Babar’s 69 in the first innings.
“If this lad was Virat Kohli, everyone would be talking about it but because it is Babar Azam, no one is talking about it. He averages 68 since 2018 and 55 in white-ball cricket. He’s young, he’s elegant, he’s got all the swagger.
“They keep going on about the fab four, it’s the fab five and Babar Azam is in that.”