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.

Usman Khan's Century Powers Multan Sultans to PSL Playoffs

Usman Khan’s Century Powers Multan Sultans to PSL Playoffs

Multan Sultans’ relentless dominance in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) continued on Sunday as they secured a 20-run victory over Karachi Kings, propelled by Usman Khan’s blistering century. The Sultans’ sixth win in seven games solidified their position atop the standings with 12 points, while the Kings remained in fifth place with only two wins from six matches.

Usman, a Pakistan-born player now representing the United Arab Emirates, unleashed a whirlwind innings of 106 not out off just 58 deliveries, reaching his century in a mere 56 balls. His explosive knock, the fastest century of the PSL season, laid the foundation for Multan’s imposing total of 189 for 3. Captain Mohammad Rizwan provided valuable support with a 58-run contribution.

The Kings’ chase never gained momentum, as they struggled to keep up with the Sultans’ imposing target. Skipper Shan Masood’s dismissal for 36 off 29 balls by tournament leading wicket-taker Usama Mir (2-29) set the tone for their struggles. Mir’s wickets tally now stands at 15, while fast bowler Mohammad Ali has 14 after claiming 1 for 40.

Usman and Rizwan capitalized on some wayward Kings bowling, forging a formidable second-wicket partnership of 148 off 93 balls. Rizwan’s half-century was cut short by a catch at mid-off, but Usman continued his onslaught, reaching his ton with a pulled six against Mir Hamza in the final over.

The Kings’ overseas signings, Tim Seifert (1) and James Vince (7), failed to make an impact, falling cheaply within the batting powerplay. Shoaib Malik emerged as their top scorer with 38, but his dismissal in the 12th over left the Kings with a mountain to climb. Soft dismissals plagued the Kings’ run-chase, ultimately leading to their defeat.

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