Before the World Cup 2023 began, former Indian cricketer and World Cup hero Gautam Gambhir had made a big prediction about Pakistan captain Babar Azam. The former India opener had backed Babar Azam to take the tournament by storm having dominated the ODI format as the No. 1 ranked batter since the summer of 2021.
Gautam Gambhir Questioned Babar Azam’s No.1 Rank
However, Babar Azam, who is also the world’s No. 1-ranked ICC batsman, has failed to live up to the expectations of his fans. Continuing his poor form in the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023 as well, Babar has failed to fire up in the tournament. In six games so far, Babar has aggregated only 207 runs and has failed to live up to the expectations in key matches against India, Australia, and South Africa. The criticism against Babar Azam has grown lately, with greater scrutiny against his batting as well.
Speaking to Star Sports, former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir questioned his number 1 rank in ODI format and said:
“You want to talk about Babar’s captaincy and his batting…he scored three fifties in the last six games. I don’t know why he is No.1 ranked ICC batter. Yes he has scored a lot of runs in the last two years. He has 19 centuries to his name but records and rankings are all too very overrated. A No.1 player is that who helps you win matches. He has scored a lot of runs but is yet to play an impactful knock where he has single-handedly won the game for the team. He scored three fifties in this World Cup but Pakistan went past 300 only once, against Australia, which they eventually lost,”
Gautam Gambhir’s opening partner for India, Virender Sehwag also criticized Babar, arguing that Pakistan’s skipper was only using his form to keep his place in the side.
Speaking to Cricbuzz, Sehwag said, “It wasn’t a bad innings. Pakistan lost two early wickets and he held one end, helping the team to revive. But is he satisfied with just a 50? No. Any other No. 3 batter would want to take that 50 and convert it into a big score. Had he done that, Pakistan would have ended with 300-plus total. And that is where the difference is drawn. Great players don’t let go of such opportunities. Babar Azam is using his form to the extent that he only keeps his place in the side,”