“So near, yet so far.” This proverb was totally justified in the case of Team Pakistan, when they failed to defeat Sri Lanka in the summit clash of Asia Cup 2022. Giving a fairly good performance in the Super 4 stage, Pakistan lost the final match by 23 runs against Sri Lanka. In the tournament, Pakistan found heroes in the form of Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, and Shadab Khan, who gave great performances with the ball. But on the other hand, Pakistan’s major disappointment was skipper Babar Azam himself, who could manage only 68 runs in six matches. Babar has been receiving a lot of flak from both fans and cricket experts for his dismal show.
However, former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardena came out in support of Babar and stated that Pakistan should not put unnecessary pressure on the skipper, as it would affect his performance in the upcoming World Cup.
“When you have a quality player like that, try and not put pressure on him. I’m sure there would have been a lot of discussion about his form in the Asia Cup and all that. But leading into the World Cup, you want your best player to be confident and relaxed, going into the World Cup,” Jayawardena said on ICC Review.
“So as long as they are not putting undue pressure on him, that’s the important thing. Being the captain and being the best batsman in your team, it is not an easy task. That’s something that he has to live up to. Going into a World Cup, forget about his captaincy and all that, be the batsman that he can be, and then be the captain that he needs to be out there on the field,” he added.
Pakistan is currently gearing up for a seven-match T20I series against England, in their home ground. This historical series will begin from September 20. Following this series, Team Pakistan will be playing a Tri-Series against New Zealand and Bangladesh, in New Zealand.
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