The T20 World Cup is set to take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and several teams have started planning to bring out their best during the global showpiece event. Many sides are currently playing the bilateral T20I series to prepare themselves for the mega competition.

For every team, their top-most batters need to perform well to make sure they go long in the tournament. Something similar will be expected from Pakistan captain and prolific batsman Babar Azam. He has been Pakistan’s mainstay, especially in crunch situations and will have to remain consistent to give ‘Men in Green’ hopes to repeat what they did back in 2009.

In the recent past, there has been a debate concerning Babar’s strike rate and dot ball percentage. The Lahore-born has a strike rate of 129.70 in the shortest format, which isn’t bad but not dominating as well, especially considering the calibre of Babar.

Quite a few experts have expressed their concern for Babar as he hasn’t been able to increase his strike rate. The latest to follow the bandwagon is former Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram. The legendary figure wants Babar to improve his dot-ball percentage because now he opens the innings for Pakistan in T20Is.

“They [Pakistan batsmen] need to look at the top batsmen in the world and learn from how they approach their game. We have Babar Azam, and Rizwan is in good nick as well, but I think Babar needs to improve his dot ball percentage in the first six overs. The players need to evolve, especially with so much T20 cricket being played,” said Akram during the Kashmir Premier League’s draft ceremony.

Akram asserted that despite the six PSL seasons, there hasn’t been a talent that can be put in the emerging category.

“We have had six PSL seasons, but can you name one batsman who came through the emerging category. Haider Ali’s name came up, but he is not consistent. Hafeez is 40 odd; he is physically very fit and part of the team. I’m happy that he is playing well, although currently, he is out of form. If there was any other good batsman, he would have been replaced, but that’s not the case,” he added.

The 55-year-old explained that batters need to learn how to accelerate the innings, pick their bowlers as players learn all these tactics while playing games because no coach can teach you such things.

“Batting doesn’t mean that you have to hit a six on every ball. You have to pick your bowler, spot, and opposition along with situation awareness. A coach won’t tell you about situation awareness, it comes from the intelligence within players, and they need to learn that,” Akram added further.

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