T20 cricket is the shortest format of the game which demands high-octane action and last-ball thrillers. Therefore, batsmen striking at a rate above 150 per 100 balls in this form of the game are deemed successful.
Moreover, when a batsman strikes at a sub-par rate, it is often counter-productive for the team, primarily in run-chases.
When it comes to modern-day batting Pakistan has its own genius by the name of Babar Azam who is currently only one of the few batsmen to be included in top 5 in ICC batting charts for all three formats.
Also, he has been at the summit of the T20I rankings for several seasons. Now, popular Indian commentator and broadcaster, Harsha Bhogle has admitted to being sceptical about Azam’s success in T20I cricket during the initial stages of his career.
“For the major part of his first two or three years, Babar Azam had a batting average of 50 or 55 but a strike rate of 120. If you are playing with a strike rate of 110 or 115 in T20 cricket, the longer you bat, the more you are ensuring your team’s defeat,” Bhogle said while speaking during ‘Red Inker with Jarrod Kimber’ podcast.
“Suddenly the batting average is running contrary to what batting average does in any other form of cricket,” he added.
However, Azam has displayed his adaptability and innovative prowess in recent years as his career strike rate in T20Is inches towards 130.
Even, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi concurred with Bhogle’s statements earlier this month but conceded that Azam is now a ‘polished’ batsman.
“I thought Babar Azam would survive in Tests and ODIs but not in T20Is. This was my opinion. But the way that guy has polished and groomed himself,” Afridi had said,
“The shots he plays. It depends on the goals you set yourself. It is always hard work. I can’t just keep thinking that I want to be like AB de Villiers or Virat Kohli. If you don’t work hard enough it can never be possible. In order to achieve any goal you always have to work hard,” he concluded.