Former India National Cricket Team all-rounder Irfan Pathan, ahead of the high-octane India-Pakistan ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 clash, has shared his game plan on how to tackle dangerous Pakistan National Cricket Team openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 is scheduled to begin on October 16 with the group stage matches. The Super 12 round will begin on October 22 and the final is set to take place on November 13 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
India National Cricket Team will lock horns with arch-rivals Pakistan National Cricket Team in their tournament opener on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Pakistan’s opening duo of Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam is considered one of the best in the world and both the star batters have been consistently delivering good performances for their side.
The No.1 batter in the ICC Men’s T20I Batting Rankings, Mohammad Rizwan, has scored 821 T20I runs in 18 games in 2022 at an average of 54.73 and a strike rate of 126.30, including 9 half-centuries.
The No.3 ranked batter in the ICC Men’s T20I Batting Rankings, Babar Azam, has scored 611 T20I runs in 19 games in 2022 at an average of 38.18 and a strike rate of 131.96, including one century and 4 half-centuries.
Meanwhile, former India all-rounder Irfan gave his advice to the Indian bowling unit, which will be without the services of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, ahead of the high-voltage game against Pakistan, asserting that the bowlers should not give any width to both the openers.
“Don’t give them any width whatsoever, especially Rizwan, because he’s the guy who takes the Powerplay on his shoulders. Just try to get the pace going. Babar takes his time. So, you need to be aware of those situations and those batters,” Pathan said on Star Sports.
We need to be aware that Pakistan are not very good with spin bowling – Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan further explained in detail how the Indian bowlers should approach when they face the likes of Babar and Rizwan. He elaborated:
“First of all, the line has to be on the stumps, with tight lines. And with both batters, the length changes slightly. When it comes to Rizwan, you can afford to bowl more fuller. You can try to hit him beneath the knee roll. This is where your line and length can be.
“And when it comes to Babar Azam, you need to get him out LBW, but your aim should not be on his front leg, it should be behind his leg because he’s slightly open. See, you need to make that kind of planning. This is where Arshdeep and Bhuvneshwar Kumar come in with that in-swinging delivery.”
Irfan also highlighted that the Pakistan National Cricket Team batters are not very good against spinners. He said:
“We need to be aware that Pakistan are not very good with spin bowling. So, you need to keep an eye whether you can give one odd over to spinners in the Powerplay. You know, I’ll be very tempted to see what the team management is doing.”