Ramiz Raja, the former Pakistan batsman, pointed out a technical flaw in the batting of Babar Azam during the morning session of the first Test against England at Emirates Old Trafford.
By the time the second session was interrupted by rain, Babar had solidified Pakistan after two quick wickets, scoring his 14th Test half-century to take them past the 100 mark after Azhar Ali opted to bat.
However, Raja pointed out that Babar’s head position could lead to problems for the young superstar. “Babar Azam is facing the balls with open shoulders,” he said on his YouTube channel while fielding questions from fans. “When that is happening, it means that your head position isn’t right.
“The head is not locked in with the shoulder. When you open yourself up in that manner, facing the out-swinger becomes problematic. This means that your drives will stop connecting.
“This is a small technical flaw that Babar will have to fix. It might be early hesitation, and if he can fix it then he can play well.”
Raja also said captain Azhar was dismissed as he was “over-thinking” in the middle. Azhar was dismissed after facing just six balls, with Chris Woakes trapping him in front plumb. Azhar wasted a review as well, presumably under the impression he had got some bat on it.
Babar Azam, very good at cricket.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) August 5, 2020
“Azhar Ali seems to be over-thinking,” said Raja. “He is over-analysing all aspects, whether it is batting or captaincy. He should be more relaxed. It is important to switch on and off for a captain.
“You have to be turned on when the action is happening, but you have to take a bit of time out when the action stops. He is putting too much pressure on himself.”
Babar and Shan Masood put on an unbroken 78-run stand for the third wicket before rain interrupted proceedings and forced early tea.