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Million dollar question: How to dismiss Babar Azam?

Not only India, but all batters must also be happy over Shaheen Afridi’s exclusion from Asia Cup, says Scott Styris

By Web Desk
August 24, 2022
Babar Azam plays a shot in this file photo. Courtesy ICC
Babar Azam plays a shot in this file photo. Courtesy ICC

Former New Zealand player Scott Styris Wednesday shared that Pakistani skipper Babar Azam is one of the most difficult batters in the world and it’s going to take a special delivery to get him out in the form that he’s in.

Speaking to the Indian media ahead of the Asia Cup 2022, Styris said Shaheen Afridi’s exclusion from the tournament must have given relief to all the teams, especially India.

About Babar Azam, who is currently the only batter to be in the top three rankings of all international formats, he said that bowlers will have to bowl a special delivery to get him dismissed.

“I’m not so sure (on how to get Azam out). I think what you would say is if India could win, any team could say I’ll give you 16 Babar Azams and then you’re out. They would take it every day of the week. He is that good. He is the number one man going around. Look there’s usually what you look to do is to give him a single and get him off strike and bowl the guy at the other end. And I think that’s not something new. That’s been around for a decade or two, or three decades.”

Styris said that he would probably need a few more hours of studying film to work out any genuine weaknesses that Babar has.

“You’ve got to be aggressive and go after it,” said Styris.

On Shaheen Afridi’s exclusion from the Asia Cup due to a knee injury, the New Zelaandar said: “Every top order should be high-fiving themselves because he has every possible attribute that you could want in a fast bowler. He has height, he has the pace, he gets bounce, he has that ability to swing the ball, and he has the variation of being a left armer as well. So, everything you would want from a fast bowler, he has it.”

“So, I’m with you (on Afridi’s absence). I think that every top order in this competition, not just the Indian top order who are susceptible to the ball coming back, I think that they will be delighted that he isn’t there and it gives them a greater chance of winning the tournament.”