Babar Azam reacts to Mohammad Amir duel in PSL 2023: My aggression comes through batting
PSL 2023: Peshawar Zalmi captain Babar Azam played down his on-field duel with Mohammad Amir after the senior fast bowler vented out his frustration after he was driven for a boundary by the Pakistan skipper in a PSL match earlier in February.
Babar Azam has made a good start to the PSL 2023 season (Courtesy: Pakistan Cricket Board)
By India Today Web Desk: Pakistan and Peshawar Zalmi captain Babar Azam responded to his duel with Mohammad Amir in the ongoing edition of the Pakistan Super League, explaining his passive reaction to a frustrated outburst from the Karachi Kings pacer during a PSL match earlier in the month. Amir, who is rumored to have a strained relationship with the Pakistan captain, expressed his frustration after Babar drove him for a boundary.
Amir had an ordinary outing in Karachi Kings’ opening match against Peshawar Zalmi on February 14 in Karachi. The out-of-favour fast bowler leaked 42 runs and failed to pick up a wicket in 4 overs as Zalmi posted 199 on the board in their quota of 20 overs. The Kings lost a closely-fought encounter by just 2 runs despite a stunning 47-ball 80 from their captain Imad Wasim.
Earlier, it was Babar, who set the tone for Zalmi, scoring 68 off 46 balls while England’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore hit 92 off just 50 balls, smashing 7 boundaries and 6 sixes in his knock.
It all happened in the first over of the PSL 2023 match when Babar drove Amir through the covers in an enchanting manner for a boundary. Amir bowled a dot ball in the next delivery and threw the ball back at the batter, who swayed away from the path of the throw.
Babar played down the incident and said he doesn’t believe in being expressive when it comes to showing aggression and lets his bat do the talking.
“On the field it’s the game of bat and ball. And you always try to put your best foot forward. I try to only focus on my batting, not on other things that can divert my attention, because then, it affects me. The more I simple I keep it, the more it’s good for me.
“I don’t think I reacted in any way that time, I kept it quite simple. You can show aggression, mine comes through batting,” Babar told Cricket Pakistan when asked about the duel with Amir.
Amir had been critical of Babar’s strike rate as an opener in T20I cricket in the past. Before the start of the PSL 2023 season, Amir stoked controversy by likening Babar to a lower-order batter.
“My job is to take wickets and win matches for my team, so for me, facing Babar or a tailender batting at number 10 will be the same,” he had told ARY News.
Amir’s comments invited criticism with several former Pakistan cricketers backing Babar.
Babar’s Zalmi have made a decent start to the PSL 2023 season, winning 2 of their first 3 matches. The skipper has been in fine form, scoring 96 runs in 3 matches. On the other hand, the Kings have managed just 1 win from 4 matches.
Notably, Babar moved to Zalmi after playing for Kings from 2017 to 2022 in the PSL.