‘Took 2 months to convince Babar Azam to bat at No.3 in T20Is’ – Mohammad Hafeez makes shocking revelation

Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez who was recently sacked by the PCB as the team director claimed that it took 2 months to convince star batter and former all-format captain Babar Azam to come down and bat at number 3 in order to facilitate youngster Saim Ayub to pair alongside wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan.

Hafeez made this claim about Babar Azam agreeing to his instructions and requests while speaking to a local channel A Sport’s show named The Pavilion which also had panelists like the legendary former left-arm pacer Wasim Akram and another former captain Misbah-ul-Haq. The show is regarded as one of the most unbiased and highly opinionated cricket analytic shows in the world and they sat together to discuss about the 9th edition of PSL.

The conversation started after the host asked Misbah about a certain team drafting 7 opening batters in the team, asking about the mindset and strategy behind this weird decision. In response, Mohammad Hafeez who was appointed as the national team director back in November 2023, explained how he managed the Pakistan team which had 6 openers during their 5-match T20I series in New Zealand last month.

It was the first time in over 2 years that the Green Army went for a foreign T20 tour without Babar Azam as the captain. It was also Hafeez’s 2nd assignment with the team after enduring a 3-0 Test series whitewash in Australia under the captaincy of Shan Masood.

Pakistan had lost the New Zealand series by 4-1 with Shaheen Afridi’s tenure as captain getting off to a terrible start. While talking through about the question asked by the host, Hafeez stated he had to gamble between 6 opening batters to choose from in the playing XI, claiming that it’s never an easy job to carry out.

Hafeez also revealed that most of upcoming Pakistani batters are reluctant to bat at number 5 or 6, creating a scarcity of batters in the middle order before revealing that he requested Babar Azam to come down at number 3.

“Pakistan didn’t have any option for the number 5 or 6. We select most of the players on the basis of their scores and how much runs they accumulate because most of the Pakistani players want to play as an opener in white ball cricket or at number 3. And they pressure is on us as to whom should we pick,” Mohammad Hafeez said via A Sports. 

“This time around during the T20Is in New Zealand, we had 6 openers. And the first two openers Babar and Rizwan have been opening for 3 years, then you bring Fakhar Zaman at 3 so how do you manage the other 3 openers? It was a difficult task and took me about 2 months to convince Babar Azam to appear as a 1st down,” Hafeez added.  

“You are a great player, a wonderful..”, Hafeez applauds Babar Azam

Mohammad Hafeez then went on to applaud Babar Azam for his exceptional technique and contribution to the national side.

“You are a great player, a wonderful batter and you’ve been playing very good cricket but we also have to develop the Pakistani team. And for that I want you to come at number 3 because you’re playing this role in ODI cricket for last 6 years. Technically he’s very solid so thank you to him that he accepted my decision and him at 3 is the best way to move forward,” Hafeez concluded. 

The post ‘Took 2 months to convince Babar Azam to bat at No.3 in T20Is’ – Mohammad Hafeez makes shocking revelation appeared first on CricketAddictor.

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