‘Ek to read nahi hota, upar se cut marne chale jate hain’ Misbah Ul-Haq criticises Babar Azam

Adil Rashid bowled a crucial 2/22 spell in the T20 World Cup final, claiming the big wickets of Babar Azam and Mohammad Harris as England defeated Pakistan by five wickets to win the final.

Adil Rashid (far left) celebrates with teammate after dismissing Babar Azam (far right) during Pakistan vs England T20 World Cup final in Melbourne on Sunday. AP

England defeated Pakistan by five wickets in the T20 World Cup final in Melbourne on Sunday. English spinner Adil Rashid’s 2/22 spell was considered crucial in turning the tide in England’s favour as the spinner dismissed a set Babar Azam.

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The 34-year-old leg spinner bowled a wicket-maiden over in the 12th over of the match as he dismissed the Pakistan skipper, who scored 28-ball 32. The wicket came at a time when Pakistan’s innings gained momentum with 16 runs in the prior over bowled by Liam Livingstone. The dismissals spiral effect saw Pakistan go 84/2 in the 12th over to 137/8 in a dismal batting display.

Azam was criticised by former India spinner Harbhajan Singh for getting out of a soft dismissal. It was a short-length googly that was lobbed by a dumbstruck Azam back to Rashid for a diving catch as the batter was too late to adjust his cut shot.

Former Pakistan captains Shoaib Malik and Misbah Ul-Haq explained how Azam fell into Rashid’s trap the moment he failed to read the googly.

“Once you are not reading some from the hand, you must not play the bowler square of the wicket. It’s important to play the bowler with a straight bat. This is a discussion we often did  while facing (Srilanka’s Wanindu) Hasaranga but somehow our batsmen still want to play square of the wicket every time the ball falls short. Ek to read nahi hota, upar se cut marne chale jate hain (They fail to read and then want to play the cut shot),” said Misbah, who coached the national team in 2019-21.

Another former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik felt Pakistan batters needed to be more aggressive against spinners or else they will get under their skin.

“Boundaries at the front were smaller, Azam could have attacked Rashid if he balls in the air. Jahaan usne mujhe acchi jagah be ball kia me usko utha ke samne marunga. So that he is afraid to bowl me in the good areas. You have to force them to bowl in the areas where you get to rotate the strike. You have to instill fear inside the bowler or else they won’t even give you a single,” said Malik.

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