Babar Azam
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam walks back to the pavilion after being dismissed in the DP World Asia Cup opener against India at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. Image Credit: AFP

Former Pakistan pacer Umar Gul hit the nail on the head when he identified Babar Azam’s early dismissal as one of the main reasons for Pakistan not putting up a big total in the DP World Asia Cup Group A match against India. The Pakistan skipper, along with Mohammed Rizwan, has been the backbone in the last two years in every format.

“Sometimes, we all tend to criticise Azam for his strike rate, but he is one player who holds the innings together for the other batsman to play around him,” felt Gul, the current Afghanistan bowling coach.

Also when I asked him that Pakistan were penalised because of slow over-rate, he said: “Everyone knew this new International Cricket Council (ICC) rule and the job of the wicketkeeper is to push all the boys to rush up once the over is done to save time. Keeping only four players outside the 30-yard circle cost Pakistan the game.”