'If you don't have confidence in them why are they with the team?': Hafeez lambasts Babar's match-winning tactic vs NZ
Despite the win, veteran Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Hafeez was left furious at Babar's call and questioned the logic behind it.
Pakistan's middle-order issue in the T20I format has been among the hotly-discussed topics in world cricket. The problem was highlighted throughout the team's run to the Asia Cup final last month and during the home series against England where they had lost 3-4. However, on Saturday, captain Babar Azam changed his strategy in the batting line-up against 2021 T20 World Cup runner-up New Zealand in Christchurch and Pakistan were rewarded with an impressive six-wicket win. Despite the win, veteran Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Hafeez was left furious at Babar's call and questioned the logic behind it.
On Saturday, during Pakistan's chase of 148 in Christchurch, Pakistan lost opener Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood in a space of just three deliveries, both in the powerplay. Babar was well set on 18-ball 31 after Masood's dismissal for a duck.
Pakistan then sent Shadab Khan at No.4 and the pair combined incredible to stabilise the innings with their 61-run stand. After Shadab's dismissal for 22-ball 34, Mohammad Nawaz was sent at No.5 to ably support Babar. Pakistan wrapped up the chase with 10 balls to spare.
However, Hafeez did not agree to Babar's notion of sending Shadab and Nawaz ahead of Iftikhar Ahmed and Asif Ali. He took to Twitter to post, “Promotion of @76Shadabkhan at no 4 & @mnawaz94 at no 5 can give short term success but will put more pressure & doubts in the minds of middle order batters. Why they r there for??? If no confidence on them then why they r with the team?? Middle order will remain an issue… #PAKvNZ”
"We have a plan to send him up to charge the bowlers, he played well [on Shadab at 4]. Me and Shadab planned that I play all the way and he will go for his shots," Babar later explained the logic behind the tactic.
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