Shoaib Akhtar on Thursday heaped praise on Pakistan skipper Babar Azam after he scored a brilliant century against England in the second T20I and compared his style of chasing the big totals to former India captain Virat Kohli.
“Virat Kohli was chase master, Babar Azam has mastered that art,” said Akhtar on his Youtube channel.
Babar made an unbeaten 110 in his second T20 century off 66 balls as Pakistan reached 203-0 with three balls to spare to level the seven-match series. Mohammad Rizwan also scored 88.
Babar and Rizwan charged against England with aggressive batting as the visitors couldn’t hold on to their chances to break the stand.
“This is what Pakistan requires — the run and strike rates,” said Akhtar.
Babar came into Thursday’s game on the back of only 98 runs in his previous seven T20s that included 68 runs in the six Asia Cup matches in the United Arab Emirates and a knock of 30 in the opening game of the series on Tuesday.
“Both the openers, especially Babar Azam. He showed once again, why is no 1 player of the world. When he scores quickly, he makes life easier for Rizwan. They complemented each other,” added Akhtar.
Babar and Rizwan held the previous record of Pakistan’s 197-run, opening-wicket stand, which they made against South Africa at Centurion in 2021.
Akhter maintained the Azam and Rizwan must follow the same template in the upcomming match so that the middle order can have some breathing space.
“Strike Rate is very important. Yes, you can’t maintained the this strike rate in every match, but make sure that you leave the middle order some space so that they don’t have to chase with require run rate going above 13,” said Akhtar.