Islamabad United batsman, Azam Khan has defended Peshawar Zalmi skipper, Babar Azam’s approach in the match between the two sides on Thursday in HBL PSL 8.
Zalmi had suffered a batting collapse against United after the end of the powerplay, with Hasan Ali taking three crucial wickets to dent their chances of posting a formidable total. Babar had raced to his half-century in just 33 balls, but his next 25 deliveries could only yield 25 runs.
However on Friday, Azam played a blazing knock of 97 runs from 42 balls against Quetta Gladiators. With United reeling at 43-3, Azam came onto bat and finished his innings at an astonishing strike rate of 230.95.
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When asked about the difference in his approach to that of Zalmi’s skipper, the 24-year-old explained why Babar had to be a little more careful, while being stranded at one end.
“Opening is a different position, middle order is different. Middle order has lesser balls to play with. Either you’ll be 40 for 4 in the powerplay, or you’ll be 120 for 3 and you’ll have to finish things off,” said Azam in a post-match presser.
“It is a very tricky number, people normally see averages in this regard but the main thing is strike rate. If you look at the top power hitters in the world, their averages don’t matter. T20 is all about impact. Babar bhai is right, that if your team is six down then at the end you have to carry your team. I think criticizing a world-class player is unfair, my mindset is different when I play.”
Azam was on 25 off 20 balls before hitting his first six of the innings against Gladiators. He went onto score the next 72 runs in just 21 balls at a strike rate of 343.
Originally published at tribune.com.pk