Watch: Simon Doull fact-checks Aamer Sohail live on air during ‘averages are more important than strike rates’ discussion
Watch: Simon Doull and Aamer Sohail were involved in an on-air disagreement during the second Afghanistan-Pakistan T20I yesterday (March 26), with the pair sparring over the relative importance of averages and strike rates in the format.
Pakistan have struggled with the bat in the UAE, making 92-9 in the opener and 130-6 in the second to slump to a series defeat. They are without regular openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, two of the most consistent T20 batters, but also a pair of players regularly under fire for their perceived slow scoring.
Doull has been a frequent critic of the pair, especially during the recently concluded Pakistan Super League, in which he found fault in each of Rizwan’s and Babar’s approaches during innings in which they made centuries. On commentary, he suggested that the pair should be split up at the top of the order in T20Is, with Babar pushed down to No.3 and one of Saim Ayub or Mohammad Haris opening with Rizwan.
Sohail disagreed with this assertion. “The T20 teams are selected on the basis of averages and not strike rates,” he said. “The averages are more important than strike rates. I don’t care about the strike rate, I look for the average. If you talk about the best players in T20I like Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers, what is the strike rate, between 135 and 137?”
Doull responded that Gayle’s was in fact 158 [Gayle’s T20 strike rate is actually 144] and that AB de Villiers’ is 145 [it is 150]. Sohail then responded that Gayle’s strike rate is 137 in international cricket.
“What’s Babar’s?” Doull asked in reply, though he did not get a clear answer. Babar strikes at 128 in both T20Is and T20 cricket.
The exchange was the subject of much debate online. ESPNcricinfo senior editor Osman Samiuddin suggested Doull had “done well not to drop mic and walk out thinking he’s in the wrong sport” while Farid Khan, the founder of cricden.net, said that Sohail was “on fire” for his defence of Babar.
The series concludes today (March 27).
Watch the Simon Doull-Aamer Sohail exchange below:
Doull, Sohail clash on air over Babar Azam's strike rate 👀#AFGvPAKpic.twitter.com/YlZlqwqprb
— Cricket Pakistan (@cricketpakcompk) March 27, 2023