You have to give credit to him [Nawaz]; bowling under pressure, under high intensity is not easy – Babar Azam

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Babar Azam says whenever Pakistan-India plays matches, there is always extra pressure and you have to overcome it as much as possible

Babar Azam came to the defense of his bowlers after a thrilling finish to the India-Pakistan game which went down to the last delivery while chasing 160 for a win, India fared better in the game of pressure to register their first points from Group 2 in the Super 12 stage.

Babar Azam came to the defense of his bowlers after a thrilling finish to the India-Pakistan game which went down to the last delivery. Chasing 160 for victory, India fared better in the game of pressure to register their first points from Group 2 in the Super 12 stage.

The left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz came to bowl the last over of the innings and conceded 16 runs but Babar came to back him and said the spinner was kept until the end as he felt to breakdown the Hardik-Kohli Partnership with his main bowlers.

“Early on, what the bowlers did in the first 10 overs was outstanding. We have to give credit to Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli for the way they finished the match, and the way they shifted the momentum towards India. Basically, we planned to get our main bowler there because we wanted a wicket. Because of the way the partnership was building, I felt I could build pressure by bringing on our main bowler,”

Babar said at the press conference on Sunday (October 23).

“If you see, even the last over was tight and it went down to the last ball. You also have to give credit to him [Nawaz], bowling under pressure, under such high intensity, is not easy. This will also be a learning experience for him. Whenever he faces such situations in the future, he’ll try to do better.

“We could have bowled him earlier but we wanted to take the match deep. There was a possibility that they could have taken the charge against his spin earlier and at that stage, we felt taking a wicket would have been better. But they played sensibly, they knew that we had an over left of a spinner. Unfortunately, he bowled a no-ball and a wide, and was disappointed with that,”

the Pakistan captain added.

“No, nothing like that,”

said Babar when asked if Afridi was partly to blame for the loss. 

“Coming back after a while, returning from an injury, the way he bowled surprised me. The way he showed his aggression, and the way he bowled – he did not get wickets but it takes a bit of time for a bowler to adjust when he returns after a while.”

The Pakistan skipper also attributed Kohli for being able to absorb the pressure to play a match-winning inning. 

“Whenever Pakistan-India plays matches, there is always extra pressure and you have to overcome it as much as possible. This is why he [Kohli] is a big player. The pressure was on him early on but he overcame that and the way he built his innings and the partnership, according to me changed the match.

“I’ve seen him struggle on occasions but the way he has come back and played a big inning, that would have increased his confidence in a big way. Whenever you win such matches, the individual gets big confidence and the mental level goes up,”

he said.

Despite the setback in the campaign, Babar vowed that Pakistan will come back strongly in the upcoming matches. 

“We are confident and we will learn from this. There were some good things and some mistakes too. We’ll sit down and talk about this. The tournament has only started and there is a long way to go in the tournament. So the sooner we forget it, it’ll be better for us. We have back-to-back matches and we’ll be prepared for them.”

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