In worrying signs for the Pakistan team, their former captain and star batsman Babar Azam did not take the field in the second innings of the recently concluded fifth T20I against New Zealand in Christchurch.
The fifth and final match of the series took place on Sunday (January 21) at Hagley Oval. Pakistan captain Shaheen Afridi opted to bat first after winning the toss. The Men in Green managed to post only a modest total of 138 runs, but still won the game to avoid a humiliating whitewash.
The in-form Mohammad Rizwan was the visitors’ top scorer by scoring 38 runs. On the other hand, Babar Azam could only score 13 runs before being dismissed by Ish Sodhi. After being dismissed in Pakistan’s 10th innings, he did not participate further in the game.
Babar Azam did not take the field, leading many to assume that he had suffered a serious injury. However, Pakistani journalist Sohail Imran has revealed that the injury is not serious and Babar Azam did not take the field because he felt tightness and discomfort in his leg.
Babar Azam’s injury is not serious. He had muscle tension and felt discomfort in his leg, so he was off the field in the second inning ✅
[Sohail Imran] #NZvsPAK
– Farid Khan (@_FaridKhan) January 21, 2024
Talking about the game, Pakistan thrashed the Black Caps by 42 runs to register their first win since the World Cup. The victory also helped them avoid a whitewash, as the five-match series ended 4-1 in favor of the hosts. Defending a modest 138, Pakistan defeated New Zealand by just 92 runs. Iftikhar Ahmed was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3 for 24, while Afridi and Mohammad Nawaz got two wickets each.
Babar Azam Performance:
Babar Azam was under a lot of pressure during the T20I series. The reason was his poor performance with the bat in recent times. The right-handed batsman also had a poor outing in the three-match Test series against Australia. In 6 innings, he scored only 126 runs with a maximum score of 41.
All eyes were on him when Pakistan faced New Zealand in the T20Is and the former Pakistan captain managed to turn things around. He scored three half-centuries in a row although Pakistan ended up losing all the matches.