Pakistan Cricket Team's Dressing Room Tensions Over Batting Order

Pakistan Cricket Team’s Dressing Room Tensions Over Batting Order

Pakistan Cricket Team’s Dressing Room Tensions Surface Over Batting Order

Former Pakistan captain Babar Azam’s recent public expression of dissatisfaction with his batting position in T20 Internationals has exposed underlying tensions within the national team’s dressing room. The situation stems from the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) decision to remove Babar as captain across all three formats.

During a media interaction amidst the Pakistan Super League, Babar openly voiced his discontent, particularly highlighting his dissatisfaction with being relegated to bat at number three during the T20 series against New Zealand in January. This discontent emerged after Pakistan’s 1-4 series loss to New Zealand, during which the successful opening partnership between Babar and Mohammad Rizwan was disrupted, with Rizwan paired alongside the young Saim Ayub instead.

“It was the Pakistan team’s demand at the time. I did that for Pakistan,” Babar said. “If I was asked individually, I wasn’t satisfied with the decision to bat at one down position. However, I did that for Pakistan.”

Babar also clarified that he didn’t take any pressure opening in the shortest format, either for Pakistan or his PSL franchise Peshawar Zalmi.

Rizwan had also previously expressed his unhappiness at the change in the batting order, stating that the management’s decision was not fruitful and hurt the side. “You can say that it [breaking the opening pair] has hurt Pakistan. I can say that Babar bhai has a big heart,” Rizwan said after Pakistan lost the fourth T20I against New Zealand. “We both agreed that there is no issue. We both told the management that they can try whatever combination they want.”

The changes in the batting order were initiated by former Pakistan team director Muhammad Hafeez and new T20I captain Shaheen Shah Afridi.

The public airing of grievances by senior players like Babar and Rizwan suggests a lack of harmony within the Pakistan team. The PCB’s decision to remove Babar as captain has clearly created a rift, and the team’s performance on the field has suffered as a result. It remains to be seen how the PCB will address these tensions and restore unity within the dressing room.