Here's what Gary Kirsten wants Babar Azam to do as batter

Former South African captain is Pakistan’s new white-ball head coach

By Web Desk
May 16, 2024
Kirsten emphasised that T20 cricket requires more than a single match-winner in a team. AFP/PCB

Pakistan’s new white-ball head coach, Gary Kirsten, has revealed his goal to support the national team’s white-ball captain, Babar Azam, in realising his full potential as a batter.

In an interview with TalkSport Cricket, former South African cricketer Kirsten commended Azam’s recent batting performances but suggested that he should play his natural game more frequently.

“I have been in touch with Babar. He has done remarkably well as a cricketer and sort of carries a lot of the weight of that team on his shoulders,” he said.

“What we would try to do as a coaching staff is to lift that a little bit and to realise he’s just one of a whole group of players and then he can just free himself up to play with his natural talent.

“We certainly saw that in the last game against Ireland and I think he played an outstanding inning and hopefully we see kind of a lot more of that Babar Azam rather than the one that feels that he has to be contributing all the time to a team," he added.

Kirsten emphasised that T20 cricket requires more than a single match-winner in a team. He stated that he and his coaching staff are dedicated to fostering a team dynamic where multiple players can step up and deliver match-winning performances on any given day.

“That’s not fair on any player but I think that we can unlock that and feel like there’s a big group of guys that can make match-winning contributions, especially in T20 cricket, that will take a lot of pressure off him and I think he’s happy to be back as a captain, so I am looking to working in that relationship with captain and coach.”

It must be noted Kirsten will link up with Pakistan on May 19 in Leeds, the venue for the first of the four-match T20I series against England on May 22