Babar Azam makes big claim about Fakhar Zaman's knock against New Zealand

The two batters combined for 194 runs and guided their side to a remarkable victory

By Web Desk
November 05, 2023
Babar Azam (R) and Fakhar Zaman (L) talking in a video released by PCB. — Screengrab/PCB

Pakistani skipper Babar Azam made a big claim about Fakhar Zaman's remarkable knock against New Zealand as the Green Shirts recorded a crucial 21-run victory (DLS method) at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, India, on Saturday (November 4).

Babar, 29, talking in a video posted by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on their X, formerly Twitter, account, said that they could have even chased 450 as long as Fakhar was on the crease.

"My view was as long as Fakhar was there, we could even have chased 450," Babar said. "When he plays innings like these, we win 90% of games. After every six I said to him, 'don't force the issue'. He said okay but then ignored me and started hitting sixes anyway. So I then said to him, 'do whatever you want, just don't get out'. [It's] one of the best innings I've seen."

Babar also confirmed that the team didn't think of rain throughout the match as their entire focus was on chasing the target.

"We didn't have rain in our mind at all," he said. "But the clouds came suddenly, and then we started to calculate the DLS and we wanted to stay with it throughout. We were trying to keep wickets in hand, and I was trying to take it deep. Fakhar was utilising the short boundary while I held one end up and we made sure we didn't let the run rate get out of control."

Sitting beside Babar in the same video, Fakhar stated of all the wickets he batted on during this World Cup, this was the most batting-friendly.

"Of all the wickets we've played on this World Cup, this one was the best," Fakhar said. "It was clear from the second over that the wicket was great for batting. If Southee and Boult aren't swinging the ball, you know the wicket is great to bat on. After four overs or so, whatever little swing there was also evaporated, and that gave me even more freedom.

"This is a World Cup innings so this might be one of my favourite ones. It still doesn't pip the 193 I scored at the Wanderers, because it's the fastest wicket in the world and Asian players struggle there, but this innings and the situation I scored my runs in made me very happy."

It must be noted that Pakistan play in a must-win encounter against England on November 11 in Kolkata.