Babar Azam backs Saim Ayub despite poor performance in New Zealand T20I series

The left-hander failed to play a big innings throughout the series

By Web Desk
April 28, 2024
Saim Ayub (L) opens the innings in T20I cricket with Babar Azam for Pakistan. — PCB

Pakistan’s white-ball skipper Babar Azam backed his opening partner Saim Ayub saying that he is extremely talented and is just missing one innings from getting back in form after a poor display in the five-match T20I series against New Zealand.

Saim, 21, played as an opener alongside Babar in the series but failed to perform in any of the matches. The left-hander, who is considered a power hitter, scored only 57 runs in four innings at a 14.25 average and 129.54 strike rate.

As the T20 World Cup 2024 is nearing, fans raised their concerns about Saim's form as he is expected to open the innings with Babar but the 29-year-old believed that he will do well in the future.

“I was expecting this kind of question, it is completely valid. Saim is extremely talented. The way he changes the game in the first six overs is commendable. He's struggling but I feel he just needs one innings to get going. Sometimes you need to give some extra time to special talents like him. Hopefully, he will do well in the future," Babar said in a press conference.

Babar then talked about the importance of wicketkeeper batter Azam Khan, who missed the entire series due to discomfort in his calf muscle. Pakistan’s skipper stated that Azam is a match-winner who is capable of turning things around in a few balls.

"We missed Azam a little because he is a different type of player. He is a game-changer. You know that when he is standing, he can completely change the game," he added.

Remember, this was Babar’s first series after being re-appointed as white-ball captain which ended 2-2 after Pakistan beat New Zealand in the final T20I at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, on Saturday.

With the World Cup around the corner, fans are expecting much from Saim, who emerged as one of the best talents in recent times. He amassed 478 runs in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2023 in the West Indies and his experience of performing on their pitches could come in handy in the mega event.