Tue, 20 Sep 2022 05:25 PM IST
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam led his side to the Asia Cup final but the star batter was in the depleting form in the continental tournament which is a concern for the side ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.
Babar managed just 68 runs in six outings in the Asia Cup as Pakistan lost in the final to Sri Lanka. The rough patch cost him the no. 1 T20I batting spot in the rankings as his teammate Mohammad Rizwan replaced him following a promising Asia Cup performance.
Former Sri Lanka legendary batter Mahela Jayawardena believes that Pakistan is putting a lot of pressure on the star player which is hampering his performance. However, Sri Lanka great is of view that change in tournament will bring back Babar's form.
"When you have a quality player like that, try and not put pressure on him. I’m sure there would have been a lot of discussion about his form in the Asia Cup and all that. But leading into the World Cup, you want your best player to be confident and relaxed, going into the World Cup," Jayawardena told host Sanjana Ganesan on The ICC Review.
"So as long as they are not putting undue pressure on him, that’s the important thing. Being the captain and being the best batsman in your team, it is not an easy task. That’s something that he has to live up to,” he added.
Jayawardena is confident that Babar will make a strong come back from this stage and prove his quality on the field.
"Not really I think, there were a couple of good balls that caught him out in this competition and a couple of soft dismissals, which can happen," Jayawardena said.
"It’s just the occasion, the conditions and all that. You take him away from this tournament and put him in another tournament, and he will come back strongly – the quality is always there. Babar is that kind of a batter – he will go through that process vigorously and make sure that he comes back stronger," he added.
In fact, Jayawardena said it’s crucial for Babar to separate captaincy and batting.
"Going into a World Cup, forget about his captaincy and all that – be the batsman that he can be, and then be the captain that he needs to be out there on the field,” he said.
“These two responsibilities have to be managed separately, and that’s key to being a good player and then being a captain of the team," the veteran batter added.