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"Decision About Declaration...": Shahid Afridi Opens Up On Babar Azam's Risky Step vs New Zealand | Cricket News 1
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam ended 2022 as the highest run-scorer in international cricket. Despite having a dull outing in the 2022 T20 World Cup, the 28-year-old batter scored 2598 runs in the calendar year. While things were good for Babar the batter, it was not that good a year for him as a captain. Things got bitter for him after Pakistan were whitewashed against England in a three-match Test series at home. It came as a major blow for Babar as many cricket experts and fans raised questions on his captaincy.Babar’s declaration against New Zealand on Day 5 of the recently-concluded first Test further invited some criticism as Pakistan narrowly escaped a loss.On Day 5 of the Karachi Test vs New Zealand, Pakistan declared with just about 15 overs of play left, setting the visitors a target of 138. In return, the Blackcaps gave a befitting reply with the bat. However, the play had to be called off early with bad light intervening in the eighth over.Many experts criticised Babar for declaring at such a crucial point of the game but former Pakistan skipper and interim chief selector Shahid Afridi backed the batter and assured him full support from the selection committee.”Babar Azam is the backbone of the Pakistan team and we will back him. His decision about declaration yesterday (Friday) was a good one. As a selection committee, we want to act as a shoulder to Babar. I liked the way he addressed the media and stated that the team is just focused on the game and not bothered about the things going on outside the ground. So, this is what we want from Babar and our entire committee is there to back him,” Afridi told media.Coming to the match, Ish Sodhi grabbed 6 for 86 and threatened to give New Zealand victory in the first two sessions on the fifth and final day, but Pakistan fought on before declaring their second innings at 311 for 8.That gave New Zealand a tough target of 138 to win in 15 overs, and the chase ended in fading light on 61 for 1, with Tom Latham unbeaten on 35 and Devon Conway 18.Michael Bracewell was the only wicket to fall for three.Sodhi was the star as he improved on his previous best of 4 for 60 against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo four years ago.For Pakistan, Babar Azam smashed 161 runs in the first innings while Imam-ul-Haq scored 96 runs in the second innings. For New Zealand, Kane Williamson was the star as he brought up his fifth Test double century.(With AFP Inputs)Featured Video Of The DayKolkata’s Tribute To Messi; Rally Full Of White And Blue Takes Over CityTopics mentioned in this article

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