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Babar Azam defends his captaincy in T20 World Cup: ‘I cannot play in every player’s place’ | Cricket News

Pakistan captain Babar Azam has defended his captaincy after Pakistan’s early exit from The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

“We did not play well as a team. It’s not that we lost because of one person. As a team, we lost. As a team, we could not click,” Babar said in his post-match press conference.

“Sometimes we did well with our bowling but we did not do well in batting. The pitches here – you saw that they helped the fast bowlers a little. But I think our batting did not click,” he added.

Pakistan, which failed to chase down a run-a-ball target against rival India and lost to the US in a major upset, nearly messed up against a spirited Ireland bowling attack. The Babar Azam-led team somehow managed to cross the line and registered a scrappy three wickets win in their last match of the T20 World Cup.

Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam waits for the coin toss before ICC T20 World Cup match between Ireland and Pakistan at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill. (AP Photo)

“When the games were in our hands – we lost wickets because of which we lost two crucial matches. We were going ahead and the pressure was on the other team. But when you lose back-to-back wickets, you know the pressure builds.

“There are some dot balls, where you have to build partnerships. When the pressure builds, you take chances. Today, you saw that we were going easily, but then the back-to-back wickets fell. There was a little pressure and we took the game deep,” Azam said.

Pakistan finished third with four points behind qualifiers India and the United States.

Babar’s future as captain

Chasing a target of 106 set by Ireland, Pakistan were 62/6 at one stage before skipper Babar Azam, who has earned plenty of criticism for his slow approach, guided them home with a 34-ball 32-run innings.

“When I gave up the captaincy in 2023, I thought that I shouldn’t be doing it now, that’s why I left it and I announced it myself,” Babar said.

Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam throws his bat after losing his wicket during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup cricket match between Pakistan and Canada at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in Westbury, New York, Tuesday, June 11, 2024. AP/PTI

“Then when they gave it back to me, it was the decision of the PCB. When I go back, we will discuss all that has happened here. And if I have to leave the captaincy, I will announce it openly.

“I will not hide behind anything. Whatever happens will happen in the open. But for now, I have not thought about it. It is eventually PCB’s decision.”

Babar on criticism

There has been clamour back in Pakistan about Babar Azam retaining his captaincy after this disastrous campaign.

Babar Azam blamed it on collective failure in Pakistan’s underwhelming show in the T20 World Cup.

“I told you that we did not lose this because of one particular person,” Babar said.

Babar Azam in action in the Pakistan chase. (X)

“We win and lose as a team. You are pointing out that I am the captain, but I cannot play in every player’s place. There are 11 players, and each of them has a role. That’s why they came here to play the World Cup.

“I think we have not been able to play well as a team. We have to settle down and accept that we didn’t play well as a team.

“We accept that we didn’t play according to the expectations. The kind of team we had, the experience we had, we haven’t been able to deliver at different times.

“As a player and as a captain, I am not going to single anyone out. The fault lies with all 15. We will sit and review. As a captain, my responsibility is to give my feedback to the decision-makers.”

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