Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Can’t play so badly with T20 World Cup approaching: Azam

 Pakistan cricket team skipper Babar Azam on Saturday said that the 19-run loss to Zimbabwe in the second T20 International here did not bode well for his team as it prepares for the T20 World Cup in India later this year.

The home team notched up their maiden T20I win against the former world champions to level the three-match series 1-1.

After electing to bowl, Pakistan restricted the hosts to 118 for 9, but were bundled out for 99 with Luke Jongwe destroying their innings, taking four wickets. Only three players in the touring side made it to double digits and Azam blamed the middle order for the debacle.

“The World T20 is coming close and we will have to sort out these things quickly and stage a comeback in the next game and in all future T20s. We will try to put together a team with the right combination,” the skipper, who scored 41 in the match against Zimbabwe on Friday, said.

He conceded it was a “painful performance”, saying, “Like we chased (down) 200 in South Africa (in the previous series), here too we should have won easily without losing many wickets. Unfortunately, we didn’t play that well.

“We played very poor cricket and I feel our middle ordernot just the middle order but the entire batting group collapsed yesterday, because of which we lost.”

Giving credit to Zimbabwe for the superb comeback, Azam said, “The wicket wasn’t that difficult to play on. It was the same pitch on which we played and won the opening T20I with ease. There is no excuse (for the defeat).

“As openers, we (Azam and Mohammad Rizwan) could not give the initial start like we would have wanted to and then the middle order struggled. We will try to step up the middle order with the T20 World Cup approaching fast.”

Hindi Website