by: Atika Mehboob TN Sport Pakistan:
Gautam Gambhir has given credit to Babar Azam for Fakhar Zaman’s aggressive batting style during Pakistan’s recent World Cup match against New Zealand. Fakhar’s sensational century and Babar’s pivotal support led Pakistan to a thrilling 21-run victory via the DLS method in a rain-affected game, keeping their semi-final hopes alive.
In the chase of 402 runs, Pakistan took the initiative against New Zealand, with Fakhar Zaman’s remarkable century off just 63 balls and Babar Azam nearing his fifty before rain interrupted play with the score at 160-1 in 21.3 overs.
After the rain delay, the target was adjusted to 342 runs in 41 overs. Fakhar continued his onslaught, amassing an unbeaten 126 with eight fours and 11 sixes, while Babar contributed an unbeaten 66. However, rain returned, and Pakistan managed to add 40 more runs in just four overs before the game was called off.
Pakistan’s aggressive approach had them ahead of the DLS par score by 21 runs when the match concluded, elevating them to eight points from as many matches, tying with fourth-placed New Zealand.
Gautam Gambhir lauded Fakhar Zaman’s fearless batting but highlighted the crucial role played by Babar Azam. He suggested that Fakhar’s aggressive style was made possible due to the confidence provided by Babar’s presence at the other end of the crease.
“No matter how much you praise Fakhar Zaman, it is not enough for the way he batted, but Babar Azam supported him brilliantly as well. Fakhar could bat like that because Babar was at the other end,” Gambhir commented on Star Sports.
Gambhir stressed the significance of partnerships in cricket, acknowledging that every player has their unique strengths. He noted that partnerships like the one between Fakhar and Babar are what lead to victories.
As Pakistan prepares for its final group stage match against England, Gambhir underscored the importance of Babar Azam’s role, emphasizing his ability to anchor the innings and stating that it’s crucial for Pakistan’s success.
“For Pakistan, if Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, and Mohammad Rizwan need to bat freely, Babar needs to stand firm at one end. The upcoming match is a must-win for Pakistan. Babar hasn’t scored a century in India yet. If he gets settled, we might witness a century, but more importantly, Pakistan needs to secure the win,” he concluded.